Lying only 17km east of Udine, CIVIDALE DEL FRIULI is a well-preserved medieval gem and one of the most beautiful towns in the area. Visitors are drawn to its dramatic setting, perched over the Natisone River, and to its art treasures. The town has ancient roots, founded in 50 BC by Julius Caesar at the picturesque point where the Natisone River valley opens into the plain. In the sixth century AD it became the capital of the first Lombard duchy. In the eighth century the Patriarch of Aquileia moved here, inaugurating Cividale’s most prosperous period. Cividale has been the main market town in the Natisone valley for two hundred years, and today you’ll hear Italian, Friulano and Slovene dialects spoken in the street. Just strolling around the town, within the oval ring bisected by Via Carlo Alberto and Corso Mazzini, is a pleasure, the pace of life leisurely and unhurried. The historic centre lies between the train and coach stations. Make sure you walk across the Ponte del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge) to take in the iconic view of the Natisone River.