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A mix of people lived here, from the Celts to the Romans and the Lombards. Reasons enough to have earned a place on the Unesco World Heritage List. 
The highlights of Cividale
  • Tempietto Longobardo
  • The monastery S. Maria in Valle
  • Museo Archeologico
  • Museo Cristiano 
  • The cathedral
  • The loggia with the old town hall
  • The statue of Juius Caesar
  • Piazza Paolo Diacono
  • The Devil's bridge
  • The oldest medieval house
  • Ipogeo celtico - Celtic cave
  • The puppet museum 
WHAT SHOULD YOU CERTAINLY VISIT  IN CIVIDALE?
 
A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE WITH A DEVILS BRIDGE
 
Cividale del Friuli is a jewel with an impressive history. Thanks to the Lombards who made it the first Duchy on Italian soil in the sixth century, it's now part of one of the three Unesco World Heritage cities in Friuli. The town is divided in two by the clear blu Natisone river that guarantees beautiful photos. Standing on the viewpoint next to  "il ponte del diavolo" - the Devils bridge -, you have a magnificent view over both parts of the village, the surrounding mountains and the bridge itself. 

 

THE CELTS
 
Long before the year zero, the Celts lived here, a curious relic of this time is the cave "Ipogeo Celtico". In a narrow alley, behind a door, descend the long staircase that takes you to this underground cave. It probably was an ancient burial place. You are surrounded by masks and holes in the rock walls. In later years it served as a prison for the Romans. 

 

THE FOUNDER JULIUS CAESAR
 
Nobody less than the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, turned this small Celtic village around 50 B.C. into a strategic settlement for his legions. He named the town after his family name by calling it "Forum Julii". This means "square of Julius". Funny detail is that centuries later, none other than Charlemagne decided to use the word "Forum Julii" for the entire region turning it into Friuli. Charlemagne changed the name of the town into "Civitas Austriae" or "city in the East" which eventually became Cividale.

 

THE FIRST DUCHY OF THE LOMBARDS IN ITALY
 
The lombards originally came from northern Europe and eventually ended up here after centuries of wanderings. They turned Forum Julii into the first Lombard Duchy of Italy in the sixth century. Many other Duchies in Italy would follow and they ruled over a big part of Italy for more than 200 years. Many treasures from mostly the eight century can still be admired today. The most famous one is the "Tempietto Longobardo". This small private chapel of the deputy of the King himself, became later part of the Monastery of Santa Maria in Valle. The magnificent plasterwork in Oriental style and the colorful frescoes make you go back in time for 1,200 years!

 

MUSEUMS
 
The Christian Museum and the Cathedral Treasure, is the perfect spot for who is interested in religious art. It's located right next to the Cathedral and hosts a vast collection of religious objects of which two of them date back to the Lombard period; the "Altar of Ratchis" and the "Baptism font of Callisto."

 

The National Archaeological Museum is a great place for history lovers. Here you can admire objects and utensils from the Lombard period but also from the Roman Empire period. One of the masterpieces is the sarcophagus of a Lombard Dukes which was found and excavated in the late 19th century under the main  "Paolo Diacono square". He was a deacon and writer from the Lombard period and wrote a series of books about his people. 

 

With all these beautiful Lombard treasures that we still can admire today, it is not difficult to imagine why Cividale in 2011 earned the title of being a Unesco site. 

 

BOOK A GUIDED TOUR IN CIVIDALE

 

A visit to Friuli Venezia Giulia is not complete without a visit to Cividale

Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to book a guided tour. I will be happy to show you around and tell you much more about Cividale. Clicking on the purple button more details appear of what you will see during the guided tour and the rates. 

Good to combine with one of the following sights:
Pilgrimage Castelmonte

Pilgrimage Castelmonte

Abbey of Corno di Rosazzo

Abbey of Corno di Rosazzo

Abbazia Corno di Rosazzo

Abbazia Corno di Rosazzo

Abbey of Corno di Rosazzo

Abbey of Corno di Rosazzo

Collin wine area

Collin wine area

Cormòns

Cormòns

Collin wine area

Collin wine area

IL PALIO DI SAN DONATO
 
The weekend nearby August 21 (celebration day of the 
city saint  San Donato) Cividale turns into a medieval battleground where the "Palio di San Donato 'is celebrated. The five historic districts participate in an archery tournament and crossbow shooting in the style of the 14th century. Spectators imagine themselves between medieval-style costumed actors within the old city walls where parades are held, banners are thrown about, medieval music is played and medieval markets can be visit.
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