We realize that the small hamlet of San Daniele del Friuli is always identified with prosciutto. But you need to know that, although over the last 40 years it has been called the city of the best prosciutto there is, this village is much more. We have recently told you that this product wasn’t born here by chance. There are several factors that led to all this, and they all result in the fact that this territory was the ony possible place to create this Made in Italy excellence. What wold you find if you decided to take a trip to this area?
The prosciutto factories – Prosciuttifici
We were saying that prosciutto di San Daniele could be born only here. That’s right: only here, and this is also the only place were it can become what it is. All the factories that make it aren’t located in the municipality of San Daniele del Friuli by chance. We’re speaking of a hamlet where 8000 people live and which houses 31 ham factories, right here in this little corner of Friuli – Venezia Giulia.
The prosciuttifici are the palces where the magic happens, where the pig thighs are processed and matured until they turn into one of the most important and enjoyed products in the world. If Friuli is your next stop, well, then you should know that a quick visit to one of our production sites is a must. Some of the prosciuttifici can indeed be visited, if you click here you can find their list and all the information you need to book a visit.
San Daniele del Friuli
Some people think that San Daniele was only a Saint and that the prosciutto was named after him. Nothing could be more wrong! San Daniele del Friuli is a small gem set in the center of the Easternmost Italian region. But, as we said, this hamlet is not only interesting for prosciutto! San Daniele del Friuli is also rich in historical and artistic beauties. In its very elegant historic center you can find the Duomo, built in the fourteenth century and dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel, and the beautiful sixteen-century bell tower. This was designed by Giovanni da Udine, actually a disciple of Raffaello. Another symbol of the town is no doubt the Portonat, a square-based keep, designed in 1579 by Andrea Palladio.
To say nothing of the church of Sant’Antonio Abate, called “Friuli’s Cappella Sistina”. All the history of this corner of the world is documented by the valuable collection of books in the Guarneriana Library, the most ancient library of Friuli – Venezia Giulia and one of the first public reading institutes in Italy. Can you really afford to miss al this?
Eating in San Daniele
It is plain to all that Friuli has a lot to offer in terms of food and wine and San Daniele, a symbol of Friuli – Venezia Giulia, somehow sums up all the art of eating and drinking well. As to the Gods’ sacred nectar, Friuli is quite a generous land. On the famous Collio hills famous masterpieces were born: Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Collio Doc, Ribolla Gialla, Schioppettino, Friulano (formerly known as Tocai), Pignolo, Picolit, Malvasia, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Traminer and Riesling. You can find all these wines in our osterie, a source of pride for our region. There are lots of osterie everywhere in Friuli and you can take your tastebuds on a fantastic journey with all the very best our territory offers: frico, cjarsons, cotechino, brovada, rainbow trout, to say nothing of boiled meat and salami (have you ever heard of salame cooked with onion and vinegar?).
A hike in the area, among castles and the river Tagliamento
And after all these good things, you better work them off a little, right? It is a pleasure to wander in the area near San Daniele del Friuli either by bike or by car. The area surrounding San Daniele offers lots of different breathtaking views, from the nearby medieval Fagagna with its beautiful castle, to the historic city of Spilimbergo (famous for its Mosaic school with students from all over the world). There are many castles in this area, from the ancient times when wars were fought right from these places as they had a clear shot from there. History is only one step away in the castles of Arcano Superiore, Villalta or Ragogna.
And you can’t miss one of the tenets of Friuli: the river Tagliamento. It offers a unique landscape, with trees and small isles in the middle of the riverbed. You will find poplar trees, alders and willows, and a characteristic wildlife: kestrels, foxes, weasels, migrating birds, and the typical marble trout!
Photo: courtesy of Gianpiero Pizzocaro