Slavs of Val Resia

06 September 2010 Published in Friuli Venezia Giulia Itineraries

Resia CarnivalA community of Slavs made their home in the Resia valley almost a thousand years ago. Despite the passing of the years the dialect of the area is still considered non-Fruilani and contains idioms and phrases not used elsewhere.


The immediate mountain area is located only 20km from the Slovenian border and the valley winds its way along the western part of the Canal del Ferro Val Canale. In other words a natural barrier isolated the area for centuries. Thanks to this the ancient community has preserved its traditions and cultural identity.

So we might expect the traditional events to be a little different from many others. Firstly, Carnival. The celebrations finish on Ash Wednesday with a fake trial in Piazza di Resia.

A 'fantoccio' especially prepared for the occasion is accused of a series of crimes said to have taken place throughout the year. The defendant is proven guilty and burned at the stake.

Prior to the trial the inhabitants dance and play traditional Resian instruments such as violins. They wear white masks, long coats and painted hats typically 30cm high decorated with flowers.

In March there is the 'Festa dei Muss'. It always takes place the night between the Saturday and Sunday of the second weekend following Ash Wednesday.

It features the young people circling the town 'in groppa ai muss' or riding local donkeys. The children take way anything left outside homes and carry it to the local square.

The following morning the inhabitants who have been 'robbed' must take back what is theirs assuming the children haven't spirited away the good stuff first.

Parco Naturale delle Prealpi Giulie