As in a fairy tale, the tiny osteria is located along the road to the Frisanco Forest, in Valdestali, a small village of only 6 inhabitants suspended in time and space among the secret valleys of western Friuli.
The flavor of a lunch at the Osteria da Cippi already begins with the evocative journey you take to get there. To reach it, you should cross the characteristic village of Frisanco and then climb along a road through the forest up to a small charming village of a few houses perched at an altitude of 600 meters at the foot of the majestic Carnic Pre-Alps.
Its typical stone and wood buildings reveal the genesis of the name: Valdestali derives, in fact, from Val de Stali, a place once used as a resting area for livestock in winter, populated by stables (in Italian stalle), now converted into homes.
We carry on the traditions of our small village, listening to the landscape, its rhythms, and cooking, as much as possible, with what the surrounding land gives us.
(Giovanni, owner and artist)
And in one of these typical buildings, in 2011 Giovanni Padovan, one of the 6 inhabitants of this small village, decided to open a tavern that could carry on the local traditions and which, together with his partner and cook, Nazzarena Del Fabbro from Tolmezzo who fell in love with these areas, has gradually grown up to become a gastronomic osteria, truly unique in its kind in Italy.
Giovanni, a sculptor with a passion for food and wine, has decorated the tavern over the years with many of his creations carved in stone and wood, thus giving life to an extremely original artist’s house that pays homage to the artisan traditions of the valley.
Giovanni as maître d’ and Nazzarena in the kitchen offer a seasonal tasting menu (formula chosen to let guests take a culinary tour of the territory, optimizing the small spaces) created by favoring the typical products of the area, such as Pitina, a salami made from sheep or goat meat, mountain cheeses, snails, herbs and fruits picked wild around the Osteria and traditional dishes such as gnocchi, tagliolini, Blecs, Cjarsons, Casunziei, and Fregoloz.
Everything is homemade, from the bread to the desserts, using organic flour, eggs and milk.
Even the wine list follows the same philosophy, curated by Giovanni by selecting in particular local organic wineries, such as the nearby Flaibani or Borgo delle Oche.
In winter you can book in the small room with fireplace and stube on the second floor of the house, while in the summer you can have lunch on the covered terrace with the characteristic wooden sculpture fence and view of the surrounding nature. Four tables at most, to fully experience all the charm of such an intimate and truly unique place in the world.
The Osteria is also an excellent starting point for visiting the surroundings, such as Pofabbro, one of the most beautiful small villages in Italy, or the fascinating Lake Tramonti, also called Lake Redona, in the Natural Park of the Friulian Dolomites, where they can see the remains of the town of Movada, which was flooded by the river of the same name in the early 1950s, re-emerging from the waters.
The name was suggested by Nazzarena and refers to a small squirrel she used to play with as a child, also chosen as the logo of the Osteria.