Programmes for enhancing the Monastery
The work in progress for the restoration and enhancement of the Monastery of Santa Maria in Valle at Cividale del Friuli falls within the projects contemplated by the Management Plan for the UNESCO site “Italia Langobardorum – Places of The Power (568 – 774 AD)” – with which the Monastery and the Temple were acknowledged as World Heritage Sites.
The first phase of the enhancement of the Monastery of Santa Maria in Valle was launched in 2008. Until then the complex had not been accessible to the public, that is why the first work carried out aimed to open most of the Monastery spaces to the public, creating a new system of relations between the Monastery, the Longobard Temple and the town of Cividale. It consisted of planning a more articulated network of paths interconnecting these assets, thus strengthening the role of this part of the town in the whole of the old centre, and starting work that would allow the development of this extraordinary monumental complex and an increased knowledge of the entire complex, especially the Temple. At present the programmes for enhancing the monumental complex are concerned with boosting the role of the Longobard Temple in its relations with the town and defining some possible ways of reusing the spaces in the Monastery. These hypotheses are based on two main observations: on the one hand the fact that the richness and quality of the Monastery environments are such that it can partly become ‘a museum of itself’; on the other, the aim of enabling the Monastery to become a point of reference for the whole town suggests a possible reuse by establishing a multifunctional Culture Centre which could comprise activities at various levels of interest and enjoyment. In particular it is planned to create a visitors’ centre in the part of the complex adjoining the entrance from the courtyard of San Giovanni. This space will host services for welcoming visitors to the Monastery and the Temple, both of which can be visited with a single ticket, a bookshop and a refreshment area; support will also be provided for organising visits to the town and the territory, as regards both logistics and the offer of information at various levels, with widespread use of multimedia applications. As part of the development of the Monastery’s cultural offer, it is planned to extend the visits to the upper floor, to the area adjoining the Temple and San Giovanni.
In the east wing of the cloister it is planned to create exhibition areas on the first floor and, on the ground floor, a Museum of the Monastery and of the Temple.