Sette Comuni

Map of north-east Italy showing the location of the Sette Comuni

The Sette Comuni, Cimbrian: Siben Komoin, German: Sieben Gemeinden, are seven comuni that formed a Cimbrian enclave in the Veneto region of north-east Italy. Cimbrian, a dialect of Upper German, was the native tongue, and the area was ethnically and culturally diverse from the surrounding comuni.[1]


Coats of arms of the Sette Comuni on the municipal hall of Sleghe

The comuni are on the Altopiano di Asiago, a high plateau northwest of Vicenza. They are:

Comune Cimbrian German Inhabitants Altitude (m) Notes
Asiago Sléghe/Schlège Schlägen 6533 1001
Enego Ghenébe/Jenève Jeneve 1927 800
Foza Vüsche/Vütsche Fütze 731 1083
Gallio Gell(e)/Ghèl Gelle 2331 1093
Lusiana Lusaan Lusian 2833 752
Roana Robàan Rovan or Rain 4245 994
Rotzo Rotz Ross 620 938
Conco Kunken 2252 830 the "eighth comune", a frazione of Lusiana until 1796

The seven comuni formed together into a loose commonwealth in 1310. They were historically under the suzerainty of the Milanese House of Visconti and then under the Republic of Venice. Under both they enjoyed wide cultural and political autonomy in exchange for their loyalty. The autonomous status came to an end with the Napoleonic Wars and the demise of the Serenìsima in 1807.

Due to the high pressure from the Italianisation from fascists such as Ettore Tolomei and the government of Benito Mussolini the Cimbrian language eventually almost completely disappeared. Only in Robàan and its district Mittebald/Toballe (Mittewald, Mezzaselva) has Cimbrian survived.

Robàan has the cultural institute "Agustin Prunner" which is a repository of the Cimbrian culture and cooperates with other linguistic enclaves in Lusern, Fersental, Sappada, Sauris, the Thirteen Communities and Timau. Vestiges of the once dominant language are family and place names, which are mostly still Cimbrian.

See also


  1. l'Altopiano di Asiago e la Spettabile Reggenza dei Sette Comuni (in Italian). Accessed September 2013.

External links

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