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THE HISTORY OF FAEDIS

Its name originating from “fagetum”, beech wood, Faedis made its entrance in history soon after the year 1000, when Popone, patriarch of Aquileia, gave permission to Carinthian nobleman Odorico Von Auspergh to build a castle on Mount Cuc. The name Cucagna stemmed from such location and would identify Faedis nobility from then on.

Entrance to the cave "Ciondar des Paganis"Human presence in the area can be estimated around 2000 BC. Remains from that time were discovered in the “Cjondar des Paganis” Cave, situated on the border between the Faedis and Attimis Communes. Sure traces of a Roman passage (coins and other finds) were also found at the feet of the Colvillano hill, with the reported presence of a rural villa. Also, a small devotional temple was reported, right where the Santa Maria Assunta Church in Faedis is now located.

From the year 1000 on, the history of Faedis was characterized by the presence of the noble family of Cucagna, from which the Zuccos, the Partistagnos and Freschis later branched out. Those later families built castles and villas and actually dominated over those territories, practically since the coming of Napoleon and the Austrians. Under the rule of said family, the people of Faedis had to endure some very difficult times, both because of excessive exploitation by the Cucagnas themselves and of the political choices of such family, which exposed them to continuous ransackings and devastation by noble enemies’ armies.

Cucagna Family Crest on the facade of the churchTrying not to lose the support of their people, now and then used the Cucagnas to release some of their servants free but their most important act and gesture towards the people was on May 25, 1326, when the “Statuto della Villa di Faedis” was emanated, featuring written laws, which regulated life in the vicinity.

Life for the people of Faedis didn’t actually change that much, not even with the advent of the Venetian Republic, which conquered Friuli in 1420. For the “Serenissima” was the area of Friuli very important, both from a military and agricultural point of view; thus they needed the support of the aristocracy and this explains why they left the power and privilege of the ruling classes untouched.

The French came in 1797 and gave a swift turn to the political and social reality and to the rural mentality of the Friulian people. However, the subsequent invasion of Friuli by the Austrians, who occupied our region from 1813 to 1866 stopped the development of such ideas of freedom, which started spreading again only around 1848, thus facilitating the chasing of the Austrians and annexion to Italy. Don Antonio Leonarduzzi was then considered as the “non plus ultra” of knowledge, a milestone for culture and was the priest of Faedis parish. He was a priest of liberal inspiration and was able to transmit such values to its parishioners; Faedis revealed itself then, as one of the most vital cultural centers in the time preceding the annexion of Friuli to the Italian Kingdom.

Contryside of Faedis at the begginig of '900Such information was confirmed on October 21 and 22, 1866, when the mass election for the Annexion to the Regno d’Italia took place. In Faedis, only favourable votes were registered (in the whole Province of Udine there were 104,998 votes in favour, 36 unfavourable and 15 void ones). A royal rule nominated the first mayor of Faedis, Giuseppe Armellini, on December 29.

From then on, a period of stability began, which allowed for the beginning of the development in the area. During those years, Faedis could count on a population of almost 5000 inhabitants and was considered one of the most important wine production areas in the whole province of Udine. Thanks to some relevant agricultural development, Faedis was able to avoid the phenomenon of immigration, which characterized the Friulian areas up until the second half of the 20th Century.

The history of the last 100 years of Faedis was characterized by the Ist and IInd World Wars and by the Friulian Resistance. The Brigate Garibaldi and Brigate Osoppo were major fighters there and in 1944 they founded the “Eastern Friuli Free Zone”, which comprised the Municipalities of Attimis, Nimis, Faedis. Lusevera, Taipana and Torreano di Cividale. The experience was terminated at the end of September by a powerful counter-attack by the German Army, which was able to conquer back territories lost only a few months earlier and took revenge burning houses, deporting and killing many people. A few months later, on February 7 1945, these same places were theater to a tragic happening. The Porzus Killings was probably the most tragic act of war in our area and is still a source/matter  of heated debates nowadays.

Faedis, around 1950After the war, the path to reconstruction saw the first free elections: the choice between Republic or Monarchy, (Republic got 1534 votes, Monarchy 973, plus 208 unvoted and 40 void ones), the constituency elections and those for the communal administration, which saw the victory of the Democrazia Cristiana party. The first mayor elected was Giuseppe Pelizzo, who had to face the problems of the reconstruction and the economic and social rebirth of the community of Faedis, which had been deeply prostrated by the war.

In the following years the economic restart was quite slow and progressive, not giving everybody the chance to live a dignified life. Many people were forced to migration, and in the years between 1945 and 1959 about 1700 people left the Commune of Faedis, searching for better fortune elsewhere.

Sadly, as most of the Region, Faedis was heavily struck by the 1976 earthquake and was declared “comune disastrato” (Destroyed Commune). As luck would have it, damages were primarily to houses and things, not to the people. Thanks to the commitment and dedication in the reconstruction works, Faedis saw an unprecedented economic development and was later recognized with a Gold Medal for Civil Merits.