Though penalized by the provincial road that passes through it (a bypass to divert traffic to another road is scheduled for construction) and by a few small “villas” with an atypical terrace built around the historic center, overall Clauiano has maintained a precise identity.
The village has not been contaminated by that desolating anarchy of construction of apartment buildings and small factories – poor in spirit and in memory – which has erased traditions, culture and beauty from the rural Italian landscape. Not here, because it is the rocks and stones, the piéris and clàps, that speak. The decoration and the ambition of the doorways, the buildings of the rural life – the fogolâr, the foledôr, the granary – these are the many small traces left by history, which here is not that of great architectural achievements and big events, but rather that dictated by the impelling necessities of everyday life.
There are two religious buildings. Just outside the village, secluded, is the Church of San Marco, originally built in the 14th century but extensively remodeled in the 16th century. It is has a single aisle and a semicircular apse, and has fragments of frescoes from the mid-14th cent.: amid the quiet of the country appear Apostles giving blessings, an Enthroned Madonna and Child, symbols of the evangelists, a tree of life – simple devotional images of a rural world that lived with a sense of community.
The present appearance of the Church of San Giorgio goes back to the 18th century, but the church´s origins are older. It has a longitudinal plan, with a single aisle and a polygonal apse. Inside there is a handsome 16th-century baptismal font attributed to Pietro da Carona.
In the historic center of Clauiano the oldest buildings go back to the 15th cent. and are located mostly near the Church of S. Giorgio and on Via Borgo S. Martino.
Buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries are more numerous. Their style is essentially that of the typical Friulian house: the main entrance facing the street, a splendid stone doorway and an inside courtyard. Each house has its own history, which can be best learned by going to see it.
Casa Gardellini, built in the 15th cent. and considered the oldest in town, has a white and red decoration with diamond patterns on its façade.
Villa Ariis represents the typical 18th-century master´s residence in the Veneto-Friuli area, composed of a house, rustic outbuildings and a large vegetable garden enclosed by a crenellated wall with two stone columns. The façade has a stone portal, over which is a mullioned window and, above that, the Lion of St. Mark. The two stone patere at the sides of the first story are perhaps the remembrance of ancient libations to a deity.
The complex of buildings that form Casa Palladino is situated inside a typical 18th-century Friulian yard that preserves its original characteristics. The layout is in the shape of a Z, on two courtyards, on which there are houses, outbuildings, and the master´s house. Particular decorative elements include the typical Venetian-style fireplace, the colonnade of the loggia, the sundial on the façade, the stone column that supports the portico in front of the stable, the stone basins of the sink and in the yards, and the fireplaces in the granary used to warm the rooms where silkworms were raised.
The nearby Casa Bellotto was built in 1791 and has an exposed brick façade and an arched stone doorway. The complex of the Bosco residence was transformed into its current state in the 18th cent.; the façades of the rustic buildings have geometric decorations and writing from the 16th century.
Casa Foffani is a townhouse from the 1800s with 18th-century stuccoed ceilings. The rustic buildings were used in the 1700s for making and storing wine (which is still done today), tobacco, and grain for raising silkworms.
Villa Manin is a fine 18th-century residence of a noble family of the Friulian plain. It belonged to one of the most important families of Venice, known also for its stately villa in Passariano, and was a large production center, as can be seen by the buildings used for agricultural purposes, including the foledôr, the enormous wine cellar next to the main residence. The villa is classical in style, and is preceded by an “honor court.”
Here, as elsewhere – Casa Menotti, Casa de Checo, Casa Marcuzzi Zanuttini, Casa Zof Piano – the splendid portals and stone-framed windows bear witness to the dignity of the place and the people.
The local products
Honey produced using traditional methods, organic spelt and produce, organic whole meal flours from the Antico Molino Moras mill.This is the right place for visiting wineries, where one can enjoy white and red “Friuli Aquileia” DOC wines.
The local dishes
Musetto e brovada, i.e. spiced pork sausage (cotechino) served with turnips fermented in marc.
After about two months the turnips take on a pinkish color, and are ready to be grated and sautéed with onions and lard.
The cotechino is boiled separately and when cooked, sliced over the brovada.