User login

Enter your username and password here in order to log in on the website:


Forgot your password?

The Natisone Valleys and Cividale

After its great success at Cividale del Friuli, the Dentro i paesi ("In the Villages") exhibition is preparing to move to Udine, backed by the Mountain Community of the Torre, Natisone and Collio in collaboration with the Nediža Research Centre, which designed and produced it. It marks the Friuli Doc civic exhibition of 2007, which will run from 13 September in and around the Palazzo Florio and stage cultural events related to the Natisone Valleys region.

The exhibition contains 42 black and white photographs, taken by the photographer Riccardo Toffoletti when he explored the Natisone Valleys at the end of the sixties, and now displayed in their entirety for the first time since 1968. His photographs were rediscovered in 2005 when the Mountain Community was working on the Leader Plus Integrated Community Initiative for a multimedia centre for documentation relating to the natural and human environment of the Natisone Valleys. A DVD Le Valli di Riccardo Toffoletti ("The Valleys of Riccardo Toffoletti") was subsequently produced (

“A forty year leap into the past that simultaneously lands us back in the present” is the slogan with which the organisers intended to sum up the significance of the initiative. It recognises that Toffoletti’s austere and powerfully immediate essential black and white images – a deliberate re-evocation of the Neo-realist style – while testifying to a situation of misery that to a certain extent no longer exists, nevertheless provoke comparisons with the burning issues of today. The lack of actual work opportunities, the flight from the land, depopulation and environmental crises are unresolved issues that have been ineffectively addressed for more than four decades by “strategic development plans” that have never left the page, and now, more than ever, pose questions on the future of the Natisone Valleys. It is a future that gets ever closer, and is, we might say, already on the heels of the present.

What Toffolett recorded, when he set out to learn about the local communities by visiting the villages and dwellings and meeting the locals, was a tale of hardship and abandonment that contradicted, with typical intellectual honesty, a picturesque and idealistic view of rural life that is often, and oddly, all too dear to a certain "touristic" mentality which is, unfortunately, quite popular. His views were partly inspired by the army’s use of land, as guaranteed by the Law, which weighed heavily on this border area and impeded the development of the landscape. It was a landscape that was still being worked by centuries-old methods and which has now been almost totally abandoned to the advancing woodlands, an unmistakeable sign of a declining population.

The 42 40x40 and 40x50 enlargements, printed with a silver bromide gelatine emulsion, have been specially reprinted by the author from the original negatives, and display further quality and refinement, against the frequent market trend of  using digitally processed prints in "historical" photography exhibitions.
The exhibition contains abundant supporting material to set the images in the social and political context of the Natisone Valleys of the time, while also suggesting that they be viewed in relation to the still unresolved problems that the Valleys community must face, above all the continuing population decline.

Search & Find

Quick search

photo gallery