Cividale del Friuli

Cividale del Friuli is a priceless treasure-chest that welcomes its visitors with the remains of a millenarian history. As a World Heritage Site, it can be proud of its most precious jewels, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the serial property “Lombards in Italy. Places of power (568-774 AD)” on June 25th 2011.

In Cividale you can walk in the footsteps of the Lombards while visiting the Convent of Santa Maria in Valle and its extraordinary Lombard Temple, famous all over the world for the amazing stuccoworks; or the Christian Museum and the Treasure of the Cathedral, which hold the Baptismal font of Callixtus and the Altar of Ratchis; and finally the National Archaeological Museum, where the splendid findings on display describe the every-day life of this ancient and extraordinary people.

This town is rich in history and deeply bound to its traditions. They are still alive and regularly renewed through history-inspired events: the evocative Broadsword Mass, for instance, is celebrated every year on January 6th following one of the most ancient rites of the Church. At the end there is a historical re-enactment of Patriarch Marquardo von Randeck entering the town in 1366. The Palio of Saint Donatus is also worth mentioning: every year, on August 21st, it brings back to life a famous tournament that, from the 14th century to the Napoleonic domination, used to honour the patron saint of the town. For an entire weekend Cividale takes on a colourful and joyful historical appearance: there are hundreds of figurants dressed in perfect medieval costumes, an engaging scenography and lively settings. The town becomes a stage in its own right where the visitors can feel a unique emotion and be the protagonists of History, with all its sounds and flavours.

Cividale is also culturally lively. It hosts important and large-scale events, such as Mittelfest : a Middle-European festival of drama, music, dance, poetry, visual arts and string puppets. Every year in July a different theme links the performances of prestigious theatrical companies and great artists. Then there are International music masterclasses for solo performers and chamber ensembles – of every nationality and age- enrolled as students or listeners. A vast audience has the chance to listen to famous masters and guests, accompanied by some of the students during the numerous concerts held in nearby churches, mansions and castles.

Walking along the charming streets of the old town, visitors can enter the mysterious Celtic Hypogeum and feel its peculiar atmosphere, or admire the beautiful Natisone river from the Devil’s Bridge, and be fascinated by the Cathedral, the suburban churches and the elegant palaces built during the Venetian domination; finally they can rest in one of the many local restaurants and cafés, and taste food specialties and fine wines from the eastern hills of Friuli (Colli Orientali del Friuli).

This pictures has been kindly granted by the Municipality of Cividale del Friuli – all rights reserved