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Area:
  • 65,69 sq. km
Altitude:
  • 323 m a.s.l.
Population:
  • 10,609
Town Hall:
  • P. XX Settembre
  • 33028 - Tolmezzo (UD)
Neighbourhoods:
  • Cadunea, Caneva, Casanova, Cazzaso, Fusea, Illegio, Imponzo, Terzo
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Tolmezzo, the most important centre in Carnia, was entitled to privileges in the past that allowed its development, such as, for example, the exclusive right to trade in the whole of Carnia granted by Patriarch Gregorio of Montelongo, or the municipal statute of 1356 ratifying its superiority on all the other centres in Carnia. Thanks to Jacopo Linussio, who opened here a textile factory among the greatest in Europe that suddenly revived the town’s economy, in the 18th century Tolmezzo became an “industrial” town. The imposing Linussio factory was made of a central building and two side wings with porticoes and wide courtyards. The horizontally-developed building was devised by architect Domenico Schiavi and erected between 1738 and 1741. The central hall, almost unrivalled in Friuli as for width and beauty, is two floors high and has a balcony running all round; it is completely frescoed with frames, architectural perspectives, allegorical and historical scenes, all of them developing the theme of virtue linked to strength and patriotism. The painter of such frescoes has remained unknown, although they have been recently attributed to Domenico Fossati. Annexed to the palace is the elegant family chapel with graceful statues of the Annunciation. Domenico Schiavi also built the Duomo (ca. 1750), containing inside a lovely series of 18thcentury paintings: by Francesco Fontebasso in the high altar (ca.1763); by Gaspare Diziani (ca. 1735-40) and Pietro Antonio Novelli in the altars on the right (two paintings, Virgin with Child and Saints, 1780, and Beheading of S. Ilario, 1790); and by Filippo Giuseppini (19th cent.), Pietro Antonio Novelli (end of 18th cent.), and Girolamo Bassano (17th cent.) in the altars on the left. A series of paintings by Nicola Grassi due to Jacopo Linussio’s generosity is remarkable: the Twelve Apostles, the Virgin, the Saviour and an amusing portrait of Jacopo Linussio himself (today in the Museum). Also two stone pieces of the early 1500s are worthwhile, namely the large holy water spout by Carlo da Carona (1516) and the ciborium attributed to Bernardino da Bissone. In the church of S. Caterina, other paintings by Nicola Grassi are found and a pleasant 16th century altarpiece attributed to Pomponio Amalteo portrays the Marriage of S. Caterina and, in the predella, two scenes from the Saint’s martyrdom. The town is graced with a porticoed street lined with elegant, perfectlypreserved old buildings, among which a few must be mentioned: Palazzo Frisacco, now an exhibition venue, Palazzo Garzolini (whose late 18th-century frescoes by Francesco Chiarottini were removed and displayed in the Museum) and Palazzo Campeis, now the venue of the Museo Carnico delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolari (Carnia Museum of Popular Crafts and Traditions). Elegant houses with loggias are found at Cadunea (the Parsonage, 16th cent.) and Imponzo (Casa Pittoni, 18th cent.). At Illegio, where the ancient Mulin dal Flec is still operating, the Pieve of San Floriano is certainly the greatest monument: situated at 735 metres, in an enchanting place that can be reached only on foot after a pleasant half-an-hour walk, it dominates the Valley of But and Tagliamento. The Pieve is very old in origin and contains a wooden polyptych by Domenico da Tolmezzo (end of 15th cent.) with more recent statues (since the original were stolen about thirty years ago), a small stone altar painted by Carlo da Carona (ca. 1510) and frescoes by Giulio Urbanis with figures of Saints and scenes from the life of S. Floriano (ca. 1580). Also the Pieve of S. Maria oltre But, already existing in the 13th century, is located in a panoramic position.

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