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The history of Micottis

In order to know the history of Micottis, it is neccesary to enlarge one's search to the entire VALLE DEL TORRE. That is the reason why I referred to the book «NELL'ALTA VAL TORRE».

This book in not available in a bookshop but it can be borrowed in the Town Hall of Lusevera.

It has been written by Mr.
Ottorino Burelli who made researches on the Valle del Torre and we agree on many points about what I thaught had happened here in the past.

Belov, the cover of the book.

I took some notes from the book.

The names of the villages of the Valle del Torre are mentionned on documents dated as follows :

Lusevera in 1150
Pradielis in 1161
Cesariis in 1339
Micottis in 1359

In my article CURIOSITA, chapter 4, from April, I calculated that the first inhabitant of Micottis, whose surname was also Micottis, must have been here in the year 1000 or 1100. Sometimes mathemathics can surprise you !

The Valle del Torre, where Micottis is situated, was quite isolated from the rest of the world and ignored from everyone, even from the clergy of AQUILEIA, owing to the lack of roads leading to the Friul and also the extreme povery of the people living here. Yet, someone came to this pace in the years 1000 or 1100 in order to give Italian names to the villages and surnames to the people who had quite incomprehensible Slavonic names.

They must have been priests send from Aquileia because the people of the Valle del Torre where asking for a priest. They gave new names to the villages with the famous «
is» ending, which comes probably from latin and not from the friulan language.

The Valle del Torre remained that way, unchanged from the year 300 after J-C ( supposed date of arrival of the Slavonics in this earea) till about the year 1600. The «
Ponasen» did no yet exist at the time, only the original slavonic language.

Things started to change around the year 1600. Roads and muletrack started appearing between the Valle del Torre and the Friul, and thats is when «Ponasen» began to be spoken, a mixture between our original slavonic language and the friulan.


The Valle del Torre has no history ; nobody knows much about it and there is no writing concerning it anywhere. And this is where «Ponasen» makes us discover a lot of things. The Slavonics are supposed to have migrated to this area , in the 3rd century after J-C ; anway, something was recorded about it after the 6th century.

A priest from Pradielis has written a couple of pages in 1929 mentionning thi area and the Slavonics. (See picture 1)

based on "Ponasen"
BY sinben

And now, I would like to tell you the history of Micottis the way I understood it from on the basis of «Ponasen».

Once upon a time, like in the fairytales, people came from the Est to stay in the Valle del Torre. They spoke slav and gave slav names to mountains, plants, flowers, insects, animals, places, and they built villages they also baptised with slav names. Families had slav names who still exist nowadays.

It seams quite obvious they fled from their original place owing to wars or epidemics. They must have lived in towns because they were able to count at least up to ten (the «
Ponasen» still confirms it). In those days it was not usual to learn how to count. This was taught only in towns were they were schools. They could not acquire their little knowledge here as there were no schools, neigther in italian nor in slav.

They were christians : it is still usual to pray the Virgin Mary, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in «
Ponasen» , and there were other payers in slav now forgotten.

They came from some distant town, that is why an history book could be very useful. What happened in the surrounding towns around the year 300 ? May be an invasion, wars or even something else... anyway, something serious enough to make those people seek shelter here.

This area of the Valle del Torre was a nomanland, sterile, with chesnuts trees, bears, wolves and other wild animals. The Valle del Torre must have looked like this. (See picture 2)

Most probably, a group of people came to the hill of Bardo (Lusevera) and decided to stay there and build a hut. May be they had some animals and some tools, but they had no water there, that is why they went to «Sedlisca» (Micottis), were there was water. Some of them preferred to settle down there, close to te water, and that is how the village Sedlisca (Micottis) began.

In those days, there existed only paths, one of them leading from Lusevera towards the steam below called Ter, where the village of Ter (Pradielis) was risen. Later on, someone went up the hill above Ter (Pralielis) on the other side of the steam and built the village called Podbardo (Cesariis) , and progessively the small villages that sill exist appeared around Lusevera.

They lived on chesnuts, dairy produces and game. Owing to the rigor of the climate, agriculture was quite inexistent ; they didn't even know maize or other cereals and people would die from starvation and illness. Our people happened to know the polenta only around the year 1600. They rather suffered from starvation, but live in peace. They never faught the Frioulans, comparatively richer, and later on, around 1600, when the acess to the Friul began to be easier, our people were able to go from the Valle del Torre down to Tarcento.

Relations between slavs and frioulans were good ; the slav had to learn the frioulan dialect in order to make truck and buy whatever was needed in the villages. The language began to change and became the «Ponasen»

The little path, situated along the mountains bording the steam Torre, with his impetuous water flowing rapidly like a Canyon towards Tarcento, was a very dangerous spath and sometimes someone would fall into the gelid water flowing below or crush on the rocks and loose his life. There is still a road called « Crosis Road» - the Crosses' road. (See picture 3)

Around the year 1000, priests must have come to our villages, changed their names and gave italian names to the people. May be they ment to build a church and settle a priest, but the poverty was such as to discourage the priests who were no longer around for centuties. And this way the Valle del Torre continued to live its history-less era, forgotten by all once again.

On some documents you can note names of villages and surnames of the people in Italian, but there is no record of them in «Ponasen» because it had no importance for the people ; may be it was merely a «sticker» by someone who wanted to collect taxes.

In our language, there are no such names as Lusevera, Padielis, Cesariis, Musi, Villanova, Vedronza or Micottis, but Bardo, Ter, Podbardo, Musaz, Zavarh, Gnjviza, Sedlisca and so on. Likewise the Italian sunames are not used, they are replaced by the original ones in «Ponasen», like Bilin, Dusigj, Kuzulin, Fratinigj, etc...

We, the slavonics, live on two different levels :

- the
Ponasen level and
- the
Italian level

When we speak «Ponasen», the names of the villages and the surnames are exclusively slavs. The Slav surnames were rather nicknames given to families. Every family had it's own nickname and this still goes on over centuries.

When we speak Italian instead, names of villages or surnames are exclusively used in Italian.

In the records of the church of Lusevera one can find both the Italian surname and the Slav nickname of the families. (See picture 4)

As long as there are people speaking «Ponasen» properly, it is going to last that way. But I think it will not last very long. I think that in 30 or 40 years from now this will be but a memory. The authorities of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, whe have the possibility to give an history to this Valle del Torre, ought to make records of what is left from «Ponasen» in order to understand better the history of this Valley.

In my own opinion, the name Micottis was changed from someone contemporarely as the other names of the Valle del Torre were changed. I wouldn't be surprised that someone called MICOTTI, a priest or a civil sevant sent from the area of Aquileia to change the Slav names, gave his own surname to the village, adding an «
s» to the ending. And to make it easier, he gave the same name to the village Sedlisca and to every family living there.

In Micottis there were Slav nicknames such as : Dusigj, Kuzulin, Fratinigj, Kagjon, Paganet, Paan, Marzuoligj and so on, all of them having the same Italian surname Micottis. I am convinced that a genetic analysis would reveal that all these families no longer have any genetic link in relation with anybody called Micottis. On the other hand, one could be able to note the descendance of the differents roots of the families such as “dusigj”,”kuzulin” etc., but not Micottis.

A blood analysis of the last survivors should be done before they all disappear, in order to make sure if they are descendants of a Micottis or if it is merely a sticker put on a groupe of people living there, as in my own opinion.

Ponasen» never mentions such names as Micottis, Mekot or other names like Mekota ; it mentions only Sedlisca ; thus, it must be its original name and there is no other one to replace it. If there had been someone called Micottis who founded the village and left a descendance, there would be somehow a record of it in the language.

Take for example Mekota, wich is the name given to Micottis by the people of Villanova, and who are the only ones to call «Sedlisca» Mekota that way. Mekota is a recent name. May be that at a time the people of Villanova had to come to the town hall of Lusevera. Therefore, they had to cross Micottis and read the sign with the name on it.

These people didn't know Sedlisca, they were not very used to go there as there was nothing they could buy or sell, or even see. Whatever they needed could be found in the plein, towards Tarcento. Tarcento was rather close and they were not used to go to Sedlisca. As time goes on, they will even forget «
Ponasen». They trade a lot with the Friul and are becoming «Friulanized».

Tarcento was the closest town where one could buy whatever was needed, and later sell wood, butter and some poor little items they posessed.

The people of Monteaperta, which is part of Taipana, knew very well «Sedlisca» where they were used to come and which they still call «Sedlisca» in Slav. They had two alternatives to go to Tarcento : eigther over Debellis and Nimis, or over Micottis and Lusevera. (See map 1).

In the years 1700 – 1800, immigration started slowly and many people of the Valle del Torre migrated and never came back to thir valley. But they are identified troughout the world with their surname Micottis. There are Micottis in many parts of the world and they all would like to know Micottis and it's origins.

I tried modestly to make some researches in order to know more about Micottis, it's origins..., but I found out we have no history and the Ponasen tells little ; yet this is essential to understand a little more.

Cordially yours,


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