Its history, its documents and its
position and landscape and why not, even its unmatchable
gastronomic specialities, make Cividale unique in the area.
That’s why culture lovers find themselves at ease whit the
great wines here whilst following this itinerary crossing
roads in the town centre or along the Natisone valley.
Castled on the banks of the Natisone river, Cividale del
Friuli has developed and maintained its noble austerity,
worthy of any capital of great strategic importance, marked
and enriched by the passing of foreigners such as the the
Longobards and the Francs. One discovers the town, beginning
in the heart of its historical centre, piazza del Duomo or
the Cathedral square. Here we can find the Nordis building
and the stately Provveditori Veneti building, which
currently houses the National Archeological Museum that
offers a real opportunity for an indepth understanding of
the complex period in history during the numerous invasions
by the population commonly known as the “barbarians”.
Moving on into Corso Mazzini, the town’s main street, one
becomes ever more emerged in Cividale’s ancient spirit,
until we come to piazza Paolo Diacono, animated daily by a
picturesque vegetable market.
Leaving the square behind and losing oneself amongst the
streets, whilst passing the mighty city walls which hold the
majestic gates to the city, one then comes to the San
Francesco church, which is in the square of the same name,
whose gardens do not overshadow the beauty of its interior.
Retracing one’s steps, whilst leaving the Cathedral behind,
the air we breathe has a hint of the ancient Longobards here
more than ever. A little bit further away, between the
enchantment of the green above the city walls we come to the
famous little Longobard temple, the highest expression of
western Medieval times.
In front of the 8th century building, is a wonderful
panorama of the Ponte del Diavolo and the Natisone river,
which flows between the deep and steep walls. Via Monastero
Maggiore, with its characteristic uneven cobble stones,
takes us straight to the Ipogeo Celtico, a curious and
interesting complex of artificial caves, dug at various
levels and accessible from steep but evocative steps.