When you live in Helsinki or Stockholm, it is a strange idea to just jump into your car and bam!, you’re in another country. I mean, ok, from Helsinki it’s just a short ferry ride to Tallinn, but that’s it. In a small country in the middle of Europe, such as Slovenia, you can get into four different countries within just a couple of hours drive.
So when it turned out that our dinner reservation at Hiša Franko didn’t start strictly at 7 p.m. and we had some extra time during our first day in Slovenia because the Vintgar Gorge was still closed. From the restaurant it was only 25 min drive to Cividale del Friuli, so because we had a couple of extra hours, we decided to drive there. I have never heard of the city, but my friend’s friend was born there and swore that it’s the most beautiful city in Italy. 🙂 The city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so I was intrigued.
The city was in fact quite charming although it seemed very quiet and empty around six in the afternoon. Just a few people and a few cars here and there. Most of the shops were also closed. We left our car at a parking lot very close to the city center and decided to just walk around a bit and get some gelato. It was a beautiful summer day even though it was still just the beginning of May.
The city had some interesting sights, but unfortunately some of them were already closed. I would’ve really loved to visit the Celtic Hypogeum, but alas, we arrived too late. We managed to visit the Lombard Temple, which is a testimony to the presence of the Lombards in the area. I’ve never heard about Lombards before , so it was very interesting to learn something new about European history. The temple was being renovated, so the pictures at the link above are much nicer than what we saw.
After the temple we walked around a little bit more. The city center is not huge, so seeing just that takes very little time. As I mentioned, there were a couple of interesting places, which were closed, so you could spend a bit more than just a couple of hours here, but it worked very well as this impromptu trip as well.