POLCENIGO: A HISTORY
Polcenigo has recently been added to the list of the most attractive hamlets in Italy. Surrounded by forests and green pastures and cut through by limpid waters, it lies at the foot of the Friulian Dolomites in a splendid verdant valley. The land is full of springs and has been home to human settlements since ancient times. Of the many rivers and brooks that flow through the hamlet, the most well-known are the river Livenza that begins its journey at the Santissima, an ancient shrine and place of pilgrimage, and the river Gorgazzo that gushes out from beneath the mountain into an enchanting grotto.
The first settlements in this area date from the IV century B.C. and are located in the Palu’ Zone, the oldest pile-dwelling settlement in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and one of the most important in Italy. This site has recently been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In 973 the land was assigned to noblemen who later became the Counts of Polcenigo. They built a fortress, which then became a medieval castle with towers, ramparts and walkways.
There are reports of a village being built at the foot of the castle in around 1200. From then onwards the village grew economically reaching its peak in the XVIII century. The castle was destroyed by a fire at roughly the same time and was later re-built as a Venetian villa in about 1750. Unfortunately, the walls are the only thing left to see of the castle.
In 1796 Polcenigo came under Austrian rule and was given back to Italy in 1866