The charming little village Clauiano in Friuli/Italy

Clauiano – A Friuli gem with charm and history

Clauiano/Italy (2013). – To explore the region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia is one of the most interesting
things I have ever done. Especially with suggestions from locals where to go
and when time is not an issue really. I would have never seen the little hamlet all of Friuli
seems so proud of: the beautiful village Clauiano in the province of Udine.
The village is located only about 20 miles south-east of Udine, close to Palmanova,
between the highway A23/E55 and the river “Torre”. Visiting Clauiano I not only found
one of the most charming places in Friuli but also got to meet one of
the coolest wine maker families in northern Italy, the Foffanis.
Foffanis, the brilliant wine maker from Clauiano in Friuli/Italy
A charming village with a very long history
Clauiano has its name presumably from the owner of an estate in the area, named Claudius or Clavilius, at least this is what local historians say. If you want proof of it, a parchment documents the very early existence of Clauiano. In fact, the evidence of the existence of the village dates back to the year 1013!

But also walking through the village leaves the impression that most of the buildings must be very old and must have seen more than a couple of hundred years of history. Even the houses and barns look aged they are altogether very well maintained. Everything is in place, flowers are on the windows and flags on the houses show the patriotism with the country. Clauiano indeed is a gem.

“Imagine Time” – When Clauiano shows its beauty
Clauiano is a typical Friulani village, the houses are built along the streets next to one another, forming a kind of closed curtain. Stones and pebbles are to find everywhere. Strolling on the very clean main street, looking at the gorgeous homes and taking a peek into some courtyards once in a while makes one understand why people all over Friuli say Clauiano would be one of the most beautiful villages of the region. The people of Clauiano are rightfully proud of their very charming village. In fact so proud that every year in fall, they celebrate an event called “Imagine Time” (Immaginare il tempo) and for this event, they open up their stone and wood entrance halls and courtyards for all visitors to see.

Foffani – Brilliant winemaker shines with “White Merlot”
Rather by accident and driven by the desire to have a bite and a glass of good local wine, I stumbled into the “Azienda Agricola” of the Foffani family, located right in the center of the village. Not knowing that Giovanni Foffani is one of the great winemakers of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and his wife Elisabetta Missoni not only a perfect host but an absolute delight. Giovanni Foffani’s masterpiece in winemaking is his creation of a “White Merlot”, a high-class blanc de noir. But also other wines out of the Faffani cellar really rock, the “Merlot 2006 Riserva” for example or the exquisite “Moscato Rosa”, only to name the ones I’ve tasted. 

Not only offer the Foffani’s their guests a tour through the estate they also run a charming bed & breakfast within the estate. A great idea for all visitors who would like to taste a bit more extensive the amazing wines “Made by Foffani” in a very charming setting.

“BELLA ADDORMENTATA” – Film location for Bellocchio’s drama
The estate of the family including the vineyard is spectacular and was not too long ago the location for the movie “BELLA ADDORMENTATA”, written and directed by the Italian movie director Marco Bellocchio. The film is based on Eluana Englaro’s real-life story, a young Italian woman who spent 17 years in a vegetative state. Bellocchio put together a mosaic of several intertwined stories questioning the meaning of life, love and hope, set during the last six days in the life of Eluana Englaro. The Foffani’s let the film team use not only every space of the estate for this movie but also some of their private rooms. Elisabetta Missoni today laughs about the demands the film crew had, even though her regular family life was turned upside down for some weeks. “But it was fun to see how they changed everything around and put everything back in place afterward”, she told me. “And it was a great experience.”


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