During our 3 week stay in Cividale del Friuli, we were lucky enough to be able to visit the surrounding areas with our rental car. A great outing is to go visit the Friuli Eastern Hills around the town that are dotted with beautiful vineyards.
SIGHTSEEING – CASTELMONTE
Castelmonte is a little mountain town with a very ancient sanctuary. Its origins trace back to the 5th century!
Apparently, it started out as a Roman garrison during the Gothic invasions and it became a defensive outpost of Cividale.
The Madonna of Castelmonte was perceived as a shield and comfort for the local people. In fact, since the days of the Longobards and the Franks (between 568 AC to the 9th century), the devotees flocked up here to pray.
The Church is beautiful and so are the narrow streets and houses that grew around it during the centuries.
The views are stunning too!
SIGHTSEEING – CORNO DI ROSAZZO
Near the village of Corno di Rosazzo, you can visit the Abbey of Rosazzo. The origins of the over one thousand-year-old abbey are still not fully known.
It has a very ancient and important wine cellar. The Benedictine monks from the Abbey of Milstatt in Carinthia brought the knowledge of the cultivation of the vine and the olive tree to the Abbey of Rosazzo as early as the end of the thirteenth century, thus contributing to the growth in importance of the district.
In the sixteenth century Ribolla Gialla of Rosazzo, the most famous local white wine, was one of the favourite wines of the Venetian Doge, and the abbey’s production of this wine was reserved for him alone.
There are also beautiful gardens famous for roses that are worth a visit when the roses are in bloom!
Today the “monastery of the roses” also operates as a cultural centre, a humanistic and social meeting place and a venue where conferences, seminars, exhibitions, and debates are organized.
We stopped by a small café around Corno di Rosazzo to have lunch. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name! However, the food was delicious!
We tried their homemade gnocchi with melted butter and smoked ricotta.
Their homemade gnocchi with beef ragu’.
Fried dough filled with ham and cheese.
A delicious homemade Tiramisu.
And a slice of Gubana, the most famous local cake. This cake dates back to the 1400s and it is a sweet brioche-like cake filled with walnuts, pine nuts, raisins, sugar/honey, grappa, and lemon zest. It is often served with some more grappa that you are supposed to pour over it!
However, the most impressive thing we tried was the new Ribolla wine that was served in its pre-fully-fermented stage. It was something in between light white wine and grape juice. SO GOOD!
In Cividale, we stayed in a beautifully appointed apartment right in the heart of town, in Piazza Polo Diacono: Casa in Piazza. This place is a gem.
We booked the 1 bedroom apartment with a king bed.
There were a big kitchen and a sofa bed in the living room.
There was also a perfectly sized bathroom.
It is very clean and practically new. Highly recommended – I think a place like that right in the centre of town is hard to beat! And with so many restaurants and cafés just down in the square!
Also, the building itself is ancient – it dates back centuries and the restoration work was done really tastefully. You can still see part of the original walls in some areas of the apartment!
The mezzanine with loft is the apartment above this and it was lovely too – friends from our same group were renting it, so we got to visit.
The owner and his wife are truly amazing people. Very friendly, helpful, and kind. One day they even took us for a drive to see the vineyards and we had lunch together. More on that in another post though.
If you decided to visit Cividale, look no further: stay at Casa in Piazza for an AMAZING experience.
I highly recommend a day out in the hills surrounding Cividale. It is a very interesting and quiet area. And the food is amazing too!
If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will be happy to help out!
Don’t forget to PIN this post!