Pilgrimage to the abbey of Castelmonte, with many thresholds to overcome - Tribil to Cividale


Today we hike through the Valle di Natione on the high path 757 along the hill chain through lonely mountain villages and over green meadows with impressive panoramic views. On a pasture, 2 horses come directly to greet us, quite trustingly they let themselves be stroked. The pilgrimage route to the oldest pilgrimage site in northern Italy, Santuario Beata Vergine di Castelmonte, is described in the guidebook as technically undemanding, but not to be underestimated because of its length. On our trail today, the trail will be our destination. (indicated with 24.8 km on 7.15 h with 550 hm ascent & 1050 hm descent). This path can be approached pleasantly at first in the warm light play of the morning sun in the leaf forest, but will become a stony one in the course of the morning. We have to climb over fallen, man-high trees, which is not possible for Barbara with a backpack on her back. The threshold is too high. Other, thinner strains are to be undercut, which are far too low for me to look for a bypass. In some places it is so steep that we have to cross the path, or so humid that we take detours.

This "pilgrimage" is reminiscent of some paths in life, there are just as many thresholds that we consciously or unconsciously cross. The threshold to the first own house, or to a new workplace, but also over the threshold into new stages of life. The road is not always straight. Sometimes it helps to pause, to change perspective, or to take a new path.

After all these obstacles we reach two chapels, San Giovanni and San Nicolo. In total, there are 30 votives in the region, which bear witness to the spiritual significance of the pilgrimage around Castelmonte. Some have historical references to the war events of the last century.

In the early afternoon we reach the place of pilgrimage, which seems quite extinct. If we had been on the trail 11 days earlier, we would have experienced the main pilgrimage day, September 8. We enjoy a little bit the tranquility of this spiritual place and recharge some strength for the further way. Although it goes almost downhill over asphalt and gravel, it stretches for almost 17 km to Cividale del Friuli. A beautiful Italian small town whose changing history goes back to the time of Julius Caesar. Even when we enter the city centre via the Devil's Bridge, we really like this small Italian town. We are glad that we have our 2nd rest day here and thus enough time to let ourselves drift through the small streets. We enjoy la Dolce Vita with the typical gubana pastry for this region, a yeast dough snail with sweet filling and of course gelati with espresso in the piazza in the sun. Since we have only booked breakfast, we can also taste more regional delicacies in the evening. There is Frico con Patato with polenta. A very tasty dish in which potato is baked in cheese with cheese in cheese in oil.