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  ‘Cividât no je une vile, ma une ponte di citât’ /Cividale is not a village but a small town, as the lines of a famous Friulian villotta rightly sing: Cividale, in fact, since its foundation by the Romans, was the main city in the area and under the Lombards the capital of the Duchy of Friuli. Still today, thanks to its urban plan, its monuments, the evidence of a rich and glorious past, and the works of art in its churches and museums, it is one of Friuli’s gems. It is the reference point for numerous towns and villages, especially for those in the River Natisone Valleys, characterized by a Slav dialect that has distant origins and by a rural architecture and artistic culture that are very similar to those of nearby Slovenia. The picturesque cave of Antro, unique in its kind in the Region, the exceptional Duomo Museum and the airy Devil’s Bridge in Cividale, the two charming small churches of Cravero where Renaissance painting and Baroque sculpture happily co-exist, the much visited Sanctuary of Castelmonte, all this allows visitors to come in contact with ancient different cultures at a short distance from each other. The so-called “triangle of the chair”, with its centre in Manzano, is not only famous for its worldwide renown furniture production, but also for its gently rolling hills and extensive vineyards where exceptional wines are produced, as noble Picolit, hills and vineyards dominated from above by the medieval Abbey of Rosazzo (the monasterium rosarum, as it was called in 1161) and by the austere Rocca Bernarda, that, according to tradition, was built by Giovanni da Udine. Industrious towns, that have often remodelled the landscape to allow room for industrial activities, but never have deleted the traces of their past, as witnessed by the many noble residences, sometimes gracefully frescoed, of S. Giovanni al Natisone and Buttrio, Moimacco and Povoletto.

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Images from Friuli Venezia Giulia