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Borgo di Poffabro

The jewel of the Val Colvera

About this place

Against the backdrop of the Friulian Dolomites lies the Colvera Valley and, at its heart, the small village of Poffabro, named one of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages in 2002. Poffabro has fewer than 200 inhabitants, but attracts 20,000 visitors each year who are attracted by the beauty of the small village, the architecture of the houses, and the Friulian and rural tradition that characterizes it. Events also attract many visitors, especially “Poffabro, nativity scene among nativity scenes,” held at Christmas time.

Why visit it


Architecture and houses

Passing under the narrow stone arches of the village leads to small inner courtyards where stone houses, leaning against each other, have long wooden walkways. This is the typical rural architecture of the village and the Colvera Valley.


Walk through the alleys

Strolling through the narrow alleys of Poffabro among the long rows of houses built on top of each other is very atmospheric. Tall houses loom over the tangle of narrow streets decorated by many votive shrines.


Local handicrafts

In Poffabro, traditions are still alive and being passed on to new generations. So too for artisan knowledge, with its handicrafts, typical objects and the famous Friulian scarpets.

A plunge into another era

Poffabro is often compared to a nativity scene, not only because of the famous Christmas event that takes place there, but also because the pretty rural village calls to mind the rural spontaneity of a place where time has stood still and life is the simple life of a mountain reality. Walking through the narrow streets of Poffabro has a whiff of bygone eras. The village is a jewel of rural architecture: the sandstone houses are three or four stories high, supported by tall stone pillars reaching to the roof and equipped with elegant wooden balconies typical of the Colvera Valley.

Local handicrafts

In a country where bread is still kneaded by hand in the kitchens of Friulian homes, the old crafts have not been lost and so have local crafts. The streets are adorned with small country-style arrangements made from natural materials such as wood and wicker. Typical local production are “scarpets,” traditional Friulian velvet footwear made by hand. An art, this one, that is passed down from generation to generation.

Events not to be missed

Christmas – The crib among cribs

About 300 nativity scenes are set up in the village, compared to Poffabro’s 180 residents. The Christmas event is called “Nativity among Nativity Scenes,” as it almost seems as if the village itself represents a nativity scene, with its humble stone and wooden cottages in the rural setting. Nativity scenes are set up in mid-December and remain on display until January 12.

A calendar full of events

Poffabro is a small town but full of vitality and events, and they are not winter. In July it hosts “Brocante,” a circus event, and, also in July, the festivities of St. Liberal. In September Poffabro participates in Open Countries along with neighboring Frisanco. Several times a year, musical events and exhibitions of local crafts are held.

Where to park

The small village can only be visited on foot. Cars can be left along the roads leading to the center, where there are several free parking lots. On the occasion of the “Poffabro, crib among cribs” event, the parking areas will become toll-free. People can also be driven to the central square by car and then park outside the center.


The plots are located along the road up to Poffabro, consequently parking is not possible in the village. It is possible, however, to enter the square by car to drop off those who cannot/will not walk.

In Poffabro every season is perfect for visiting. In spring the village streets burst with geraniums; in summer they become a cool outing; in autumn they are decorated with wood and fruit. Finally, winter is magical with its 300 nativity scenes.

A short distance from the village, in the middle of the forest, is the Monastery of St. Mary, where the nuns make jams, soap, liqueurs, ointments and herbal teas with dedication from the fruits and herbs that the surrounding nature offers.

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