The church Oratorio di Santa Maria in Valle, also known as Lombard Temple, in the city of Cividale del Friuli in Northern Italy.

© Ralf Siemieniec/Shutterstock

Tempietto Longobardo

Friuli Venezia Giulia

Cividale's most important sight is this stunning complex that houses the only surviving example of Lombard architecture and artwork in Europe. Built in the 8th century, it was originally the chapel of a palace accommodating the representative of the Lombard king before being donated to a Benedictine monastery. The expressive 8th-century frescoes are extremely rare and moving examples of Greek-Byzantine art, while the later stucco work is unusually naturalistic, its luminous whiteness accented by the dark wood choir stalls.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Friuli Venezia Giulia attractions

1. Duomo & Museo Cristiano

0.09 MILES

Cividale’s 16th-century, Venetian-Gothic cathedral sits on an ancient 8th-century church and is filled with unusual treasures. Among them is the lacquered…

2. Ponte del Diavolo

0.14 MILES

Splitting the town in two is the symbolic Devil's Bridge that crosses the emerald green Natisone river. The 22m-high bridge was first constructed in the…

3. Dobrovo Castle


The Renaissance-style Dobrovo Castle, dating from 1606, has a handful of rooms filled with artworks and period furnishings (limited labelling). There's a…

4. Museo Diocesano & Tiepolo Galleries

9.52 MILES

The drawcards here are the two rooms featuring early frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo, including the wonderfully over-the-top Expulsion of the Rebellious…

5. Oratorio della Purità

9.63 MILES

This intimate oratory has a dramatic ceiling painting of the Assumption by Giambattista Tiepolo, with a glowing Madonna framed by tumbling, rather…

6. Cathedral

9.65 MILES

The chapels of Udine's 13th-century Romanesque-Gothic cathedral house the Museo del Duomo, with 13th- to 17th-century frescoes in the Cappella di San…

7. Museo del Duomo

9.66 MILES

Housed in a couple of smaller chapels of the cathedral is the Museo del Duomo, which hosts a collection of objects relating to the period of the Patriarch…

8. Galleria d'Arte Antica

9.67 MILES

This 13-room gallery showcases the work of local and Venetian artists from the end of the 14th- to the early 19th-century. There are a handful of…