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The Natisone Valleys

Cividale’s role as a crossing point of diverse peoples and cultures has had an enormous influence on local food and wine, which draw on the best features of many traditions and use simple ingredients to best advantage. Soups are typically based on beans, potatoes, barley and turnips, while local favourite meats are game, cured meats such as ossocollo (cured neck of pork) soppressa (aged salami) ham and pancetta (cured pork belly). The quality of Natisone trout is a subject in itself. It would be unthinkable not to try Frico; this local dish is based on Montasio, a cheese to savour at various stages of maturity. Salami served with onions and vinegar is another delight, and no-one should leave Cividale without taking home the traditional sweet of the Natisone Valleys: Gubana (a fruit cake), or the little strucchi (light stuffed pastries).


Local cuisine is best appreciated when accompanied by “Colli Orientali del Friuli” wines bearing the Denominazione di Origine Controllata stamp (Controlled Denomination of Origin). Cividale is the home of the producers’ association. There are 2300 hectares of vineyards, growing indigenous grape varieties such as Verduzzo Friulano, Ribolla Gialla (yellow Ribolla) Schioppettino, and Picolit, as well as varieties originating elsewhere, such as Merlot, Cabernet and Sauvignon. The characteristic wine of the area is the Friulano.

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