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Area:
  • 34,67 sq. km
Altitude:
  • 252 m a.s.l.
Population:
  • 7,892
Town Hall:
  • Via Garibaldi, 23
  • 33038 - Aiello del Friuli (UD)
Neighbourhoods:
  • Aonedis, Cimano, Villanova
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Map:

It is one of the historic cities of Friuli, with a welldefined role since Roman times. It is also a centre of culture and especially art, thanks to the enlightened fervour of some of its citizens. In fact, it was in S. Daniele that the first public library was opened in 1466 (and one of the first in Italy) with one hundred and sixty codes donated by humanist Guarnerio d’Artegna, which he had partly purchased, partly had had written and illuminated. To this original collection several precious volumes were added with time, in particular the thousands of volumes donated by Giusto Fontanini in 1734. Housed in the former Town Hall, a stern 15th-16thcentury building with loggia, the Biblioteca Guarneriana contains about eighty incunabula (one of which, the Iustiniani Constitutiones of 1482, has an exquisite miniature by Antonio Maria from Padua) and dozens of humanistic codes, including a 14th-century Divine Comedy (the Inferno is commented by Jacopo Alighieri and Graziano Bambaglioli) decorated with some illuminated initials similar to those decorating the Divine Comedy preserved in the National Library in Paris. The gem in the library, however, is the so-called Byzantine Bible, written and illuminated in the 1190s in Jerusalem at the time of the Latin Kingdom by an illuminator of the metropolitan school. Though in bad conditions owing to awful mutilations, the bible still shows many illuminated initials alternating with smaller letters embellished with geometric and floral motifs. As for religious buildings, the Duomo of S. Michele, remodelled between 1707 and 1725 by Venetian architect Domenico Rossi, with bronze portals carrying panels by Nino Gortan (1982) portraying Death and Resurrection of Christ and symbols of the Evangelists, has good-quality works inside, as the monumental font by Carlo da Carona (1510), a Holy Trinity altarpiece by Giovanni Antonio Pordenone, 1534, one of his deeper felt and better executed works, the marble high altar by Francesco Fosconi (1735), paintings by Pomponio Amalteo (Marriage of the Virgin and Circumcision, 1549) and by Vincenzo Lugaro (scenes from the Bible, 1625). The duomo also contains three paintings by Valerio Graziano dated 1615, a lovely Virgin with Child by Francesco da Milano (1520) and three models by Giambattista Tiepolo (Assumption, St. John of the Alms and Decollation of St. John the Baptist) prepared around 1735 for frescoes – never realized – in the church of Fratta at S. Daniele. Great importance is given to the 15th-century church of S. Antonio Abate showing the most beautiful cycle of Renaissance frescoes in Friuli, painted by Martino from Udine, called Pellegrino da S. Daniele who operated here on several occasions, probably helped by disciples, from 1497 to 1522: holy stories and figures are painted in the choir, triumphal arch and right wall, while on the left wall are painted late 14th-century frescoes. Rich in works of art are also the churches of S. Maria della Fratta, S. Daniele in Castello, and Madonna di Strada. The 18th-century building housing the Monte di Pietà (pawnshop) shows a large painting by Vincenzo Lugaro.

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