Rivindicules and the pink onion

Rivindicules and the pink onion

Until the middle of the last century, the villages of Castelnovo were surrounded by vegetable gardens, vineyards and native orchards, thanks to the microclimate favourable to agriculture and the fertility of the soil. A flourishing itinerant trade developed here, which particularly involved women. Men, in fact, often emigrated to do seasonal work. These women were called rivindicules and between May and September they left on foot, by bicycle or by train (there was a station at Castelnovo, on the Sacile-Gemona line), to sell fruit, vegetables and seeds in the markets of Maniago, Spilimbergo and San Daniele del Friuli.

In October, on the other hand, Rivindicules travelled as far as the lower plain to barter their produce for wheat or maize. In this case, they stayed for a few days and slept in barns with families that they often already knew from previous years.
The association Le Rivindicules works to keep the memory alive and preserve the agricultural biodiversity and landscape of Castelnovo. The best known event is the summer vegetable exhibition Il gno ort (i.e.: my vegetable garden), which is held once a year in the summer, with tastings, visits and walks.

The most famous of the vegetables is the Val Cosa pink onion, but you can also taste leafy broccoli or plums. Worthy of mention are the ancient varieties of fruit trees, especially apple and plum trees, as well as the indigenous vines, Piculit-neri and Forgiarin (red berry), Sciaglin and Ucelut (white berry), varieties that were once cultivated throughout the municipality and are now being recovered by a few winegrowers.

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Roiello Pellegrin
Montereale Valcellina

Pellegrin’s roiello

Running water was brought to San Leonardo Valcellina in 1837 thanks to the intuition of a local farmer, Giovanni Antonio Dell’Angelo, known as Pellegrin. Before that there was the “lagoon”, a stagnant and unhealthy pool, fed by the rains, in the centre of the square.

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