The Colli Orientali del Friuli - 1

The Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC zone lies in the hills that extend along the border of the province of Udine with Slovenia. The heart of the zone is Cividale del Friuli, the starting point for our two suggested itineraries. The first leads northwest in the direction of Faedis, Nimis and Tarcento while the second heads south east and passes through Manzano, San Giovanni al Natisone and Corno di Rosazzo. The marl and sandstone soil of the gently rolling hills is terraced to provide an ideal habitat for viticulture. Thanks to the natural shelter provided by the Julian Pre-Alps, the vines are protected from the cold north winds.
In the The Colli Orientali are wineries where visitors can taste and purchase wines, farm holiday and sports facilities, excellent eateries, villages with many minor - and major - art treasures, and the large vine and wine park, making this one of the most attractive and best prepared parts of Friuli-Venezia Giulia for a relaxing holiday in the countryside.

Typical products
Gubana cake, sausages, cheeses, honey, grappa and spirits.

Typical dishes
Frico (fried cheese), salami cooked in vinegar, brovada e muset (cotechino sausage with sliced pomace-steeped turnips), cjarsons (large pasta envelopes), game and trout-based dishes. In the valleys around Cividale, there are dishes of Slovene origin, such as zlicnjaki, small dumplings made of flour and acquabizna, a turnip and potato soup. Sweets include gubana and struki.

Itinerary: Cividale del Friuli - Remanzacco - Povoletto - Tarcento - Nimis - Attimis - Faedis - Torreano

Cividale, the first capital in Italy of the Lombard duchy, in the sixth century after Christ, has even older origins. It was founded as Forum Iulii around 50 B.C. by Julius Caesar and gave its name to the whole of its hinterland, which even today is known as Friuli.
Cividale is a town to walk round in search of the very evident traces of its noble past. The gastaldaga, the heart of Lombard Cividale, extends from Piazza del Duomo to the banks of the river Natisone.
But before you venture into its cobbled alleyways, cross the Ponte del Diavolo, the “devil’s bridge” that spans one of the loveliest stretches of the river, and enjoy the view of the ancient houses that cling higgledy-piggledy to the sheer drop over the deep blue-green waters.
Must-see visits in the gastaldaga are the Celtic hypogeum, carved out of the rock, and the eighth-century oratory of Santa Maria in Valle, which still conserves the priceless Lombard statues and stucco reliefs that have somehow survived to the present day. Other marvellous works from the same period can be admired in the cathedral, where two early mediaeval masterpieces, the baptistery of Callistus and the altar of Ratchis, have been installed, and in the nearby archaeological museum, where exhibits include some extremely rare pieces of Lombard gold jewellery.
Although time seems to have stood still in the gastaldaga, the closer you get to Cividale’s lively main square, Piazza Paolo Diacono, the more the streets of the historic centre come alive with the shops, cafés, restaurants and other eateries that have made Cividale a byword among discriminating gourmets.

Festivals and events
Messa dello Spadone mass of the great sword - 6 January
Palio di San Donato - August
Truc - Easter
Mittelfest arts festival - July

Municipality of Cividale del Friuli - Tourism office
Piazzetta Chiarottini n. 6
tel. 0432.710422

Consorzio per la Tutela dei Vini a Denominazione di Origine Controllata Colli Orientali del Friuli
c/o Villa Nachini Cabassi
Piazza 27 Maggio, 23
33040 Corno di Rosazzo, Udine
Tel 0432753568

Places to visit: Church of Santo Stefano (sixteenth century) with wooden altar

Vigne del Malina (Orzano)
De Claricini (Moimacco)
Villa De Puppi (Moimacco)

Metalworking-Gino Tonutti museum (Casali Battiferro), tel. +39 0432 667213

A quiet country village. Visit the parish church (eighteenth century). At nearby Magredis is the church of San Pietro (fourteenth-fifteenth centuries) with an interesting cycle of paintings by Thanner. At Savorgnano, Villa Savorgnan (fifteenth century) and the Castello della Motta are worth visiting, as is Villa Mangilli Schubert (seventeenth-eighteenth centuries) at Marsure.

Mont'Albano Agricola (Savorgnano del Torre)

An attractive and ancient town whose historic centre has been impeccably restored after the devastation of the 1976 earthquake. Sights include Palazzo Frangipane (eighteenth century) and the parish church (established in the twelfth century and rebuilt in the eighteenth). At nearby Segnacco, the church of Sant’Eufemia (fourteenth century) merits attention.
Behind Tarcento, the upper Torre valley opens into one of Friuli’s most unspoilt corners, an ideal spot for hillwalking or mountain biking. Here in Val Torre you will find the spectacular grottoes of Villanova. Guided visits are available.

Torre waterfalls (Ciseriis).
Lusevera source of the Torre (Musi)
Grottoes (Villanova)

Festivals and events
Pignarul ancient traditional bonfire - 6 January
Festival dei Cuori folklore festival - August

An ancient, strategically located fortification of classical origin, Nimis today is the home of Ramanodolo, the region’s first DOCG denomination. Ramandolo is a sweet wine, vinified from grapes that have raisined on the vine or on rush mats. It is produced in limited quantities, exclusively in the tiny area around the hill of Ramandolo, from which it takes its name.
Sights to see in the village are the parish church of Santi Gervasio e Protasio (sixth century), one of the most ancient in Fr iuli, and the church of the Madonna delle Pianelle (fifteenth-sixteenth centuries).

Dario Coos
Dri Giovanni Il Roncat (Ramandolo)

The village offers an interesting Museo della Terra dei Nove Castelli, a museum dedicated to the area’s mediaeval past. Nearby are the imposing remains of three castles, the Castello Superiore, the Castello Inferiore and the Castello di Partistagno. At Borgo Faris, there is the church of Sant’Osvaldo (fourteenth-fifteenth centuries) and at Forame there is the church of Sant'Antonio Abate (thirteenth, seventeenth and twentieth centuries) with a fascinating wooden altar (1701).

Festivals and events
Strawberry and raspberry fair - July

A village with ancient origins, Faedis offers visitors the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta with a wooden altar by Giovanni Martini (1522) and the church of San Pietro degli Slavi (thirteenth and fifteenth centuries). Nearby stand the impressive remains of the mediaeval castles of Soffumbergo, Zucco and Cucagna, which may be visited on foot after a short walk. At Ronchis, there are intriguing ancient private residences at Villa Freschi (seventeenth century) and Casa Partistagno (sixteenth century).

Accordini (Campeglio)
Colle Villano
Comelli Paolino (Colloredo)

Pian delle Farcadizze (Canebola)

Festivals and events
Wine and strawberry fair - June
Wine festival - June (at Campeglio)
Chestnut and honey fair at Soffumbergo - October

Torreano is renowned for its stone masonry, which is used in both in architecture and in interior decor, as well as for creating artistic objects. Nearby, Montina di Prestento offers the church of San Rocco (fifteenth century) and at Togliano, there is the church of San Mauro (fourteenth century).