Caneva castle

A few kilometres from the Holiday Farmhouse (and therefore from Sacile) visitors can admire Caneva castle. It stands in a defensive and strategic position on the western Friulian border.

The villas that now make up the municipal district were once subject to the castle; however, there were a great many disputes with nearby Sacile over questions of boundaries, as well as over the control of fairs and markets.

Under patriarchal rule (1077-1419), Caneva was a ‘gastaldia’, or administrative district, subject to the bishop of Aquileia; a delegate of the Caneva community took part in sittings of the Patria del Friuli Parliament. Between 1995 and 1998 various archaeologists excavated the keep and proved that the castle was founded by the patriarch of Aquileia at the start of the 12th century.

In the central section of the castle the remains of an early mediaeval necropolis were found, consisting of about twenty graves. They were what remained of what was almost certainly an unfortified village, although situated in a fairly well-protected location.

The construction of the castle should be seen in relation to the establishment of the Sacile river port. Caneva, as the castle of the patriarch and a town on the Livenza, defended the trade route that climbed up to Cansiglio before heading northward. The castle settlement contained a large urban habitation with houses, workshops and roads that can still be recognised today in the terracing system.