Hi Buzztrippers! Did you miss me? Today we are back in my region with a really exclusive and not to be missed opportunity for next weekend: I am talking about Castelli Aperti in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, an interesting initiative taking place twice a year. This weekend, Saturday and Sunday April 9th and 10th, several castles and historic residences of Friuli-Venezia Giulia will open their majestic doors and welcome anyone curious in their history, family traditions, architecture and home furnishings. The admission ticket costs 7,00 € per castle and you will have plenty of great possibilities to choose from. Guided visits usually start hourly; some of the castles can be visited on Sunday exclusively (from 10 am to 06 pm) whereas others open on Saturday (from 03 pm to 06 pm) as well.
Below you find the complete list of Castelli Aperti in Friuli-Venezia Giulia proposing their guided visits:
Trieste province: Castello di Muggia.
Gorizia province: Palazzo Lantieri, Castello di Spessa di Capriva and Castello di San Floriano del Collio.
Pordenone province: Castello di Cordovado, Palazzo d’Attimis Maniago and Castelcosa (in Cosa di San Giorgio della Richinvelda);
Udine province: Castello di Arcano, Castello di Susans (Majano), Castello di Villalta (Villalta di Fagagna), Casaforte La Brunelde (Fagagna), Palazzo Romano (Case di Manzano), Palazzo Steffaneo Roncato (Crauglio di S. Vito al Torre), Villa Kechler de Asarta (Fraforeano di Ronchis), Rocca Bernarda (Ipplis di Premariacco), Castello di Cassacco, Castello di Villafredda (Loneriacco di Tarcento), Castello di Flambruzzo (Rivignano Teor), Centa di Joannis (Aiello del Friuli) and Villa Elodia (Trivignano Udinese).
Last year I had the great opportunity of visiting some Castelli Aperti in Udine province… I hope my Buzzes and photos will help you choose your destination for this weekend! They are located in the same area, so if you are planning to combine more than one visit, you can build an interesting itinerary around these three castles 🙂
Castelli Aperti in Friuli-Venezia Giulia- Castello di Villalta
If you have just a couple of free hours, do not hesitate and opt for Villalta, the most important medieval manor house in Friuli: you will not regret your choice at all! Castello di Villalta benefits from a dominating position over the Friulian countryside. Just imagine that the most ancient document referring to Villalta dates back to 1158! The castle has been besieged, destroyed and reconstructed several times: the present structure evokes its 16th century aspect, whereas its most ancient tower dates back to 12th-13th century. The story of this castle has been intrinsically connected to its owners, Lords of Villalta-Caporiacco (they can boast Roman and Celtic origins, and the direct Emperor investiture), and to some important milestones in Friulian history, such as the military occupation by Venice Republic, by the Napoleonic Marchal Bernadotte and by Austrian troops during First World War.
The castle, still inhabited by Villalta-Caporiacco family members, brings us back in time, thanks to its surrounding walls, its ramparts, drawbridge, towers and proudly Ghibelline merlons… just spend some moments walking around and enjoying the view from a wonderful surrounding park (in spring, let the colors of iris, olive trees and lavender amaze you) and internal courts. With regard to the inner rooms, do not miss the Great Room, the Bernadotte Room, the library and above all the typical Friulian “fogolar”, that inspired Ippolito Nievo for his description of Fratta Castle in “Le Confessioni di un Italiano”
La cucina di Fratta era un vasto locale, d’un indefinito numero di lati molto diversi in grandezza, il quale s’alzava verso il cielo come una cupola e si sprofondava dentro terra piú d’una voragine: oscuro anzi nero di una fuliggine secolare, sulla quale splendevano come tanti occhioni diabolici i fondi delle cazzeruole, delle leccarde e delle guastade appese ai loro chiodi; ingombro per tutti i sensi da enormi credenze, da armadi colossali, da tavole sterminate; e solcato in ogni ora del giorno e della notte da una quantità incognita di gatti bigi e neri, che gli davano figura d’un laboratorio di streghe. – Tuttociò per la cucina. – Ma nel canto piú buio e profondo di essa apriva le sue fauci un antro acherontico, una caverna ancor più tetra e spaventosa, dove le tenebre erano rotte dal crepitante rosseggiar dei tizzoni, e da due verdastre finestrelle imprigionate da una doppia inferriata. Là un fumo denso e vorticoso, là un eterno gorgoglio di fagiuoli in mostruose pignatte, là sedente in giro sovra panche scricchiolanti e affumicate un sinedrio di figure gravi arcigne e sonnolente. Quello era il focolare e la curia domestica dei castellani di Fratta
Castelli Aperti in Friuli-Venezia Giulia- Castello d’Arcano
Castello d’Arcano, perfectly preserved and still inhabited, comes second in my personal list of Castelli Aperti in Friuli-Venezia Giulia: it belonged for centuries to the d’Arcano family (the originary name was Tricano, so called for the three dogs of the family coat of arms), historical allies of the Patriarch, Friulian Parliament members, Counts… briefly, one of the most important noble families in the region. Castello d’Arcano has been built through several centuries, from 13th to 16th century, over a previous ancient fortification. Exactly like in Villalta, you will see its merlons (but this time, Guelph merlons), ramparts, towers… and an impressive entrance staircase. From the internal courts, you will enjoy a stunning view over the surrounding hills (San Daniele above all): take advantage of the panorama to take some pictures! The internal areas of the castle preserve some 18th century frescoes by Andrea Urbani, depicting some bucolic scenes. While visiting Castello d’Arcano, do not just enjoy its magical atmosphere, but feel the shadow of a dark legend over it: Francesco d’Arcano married in 1635 Todeschina di Prampero, but soon stabbed her out of jealousy. Todeschina, breathing her last, wrote her name on the castle walls using her blood. The corpse was bricked up by Francesco d’Arcano and exhumed at the beginning of 20th century.
Castelli Aperti in Friuli-Venezia Giulia- Castello di Cassacco
This castle wins the bronze medal in my personal list due to its small dimension (if compared to the previous castles): nevertheless, it is surely worth a visit. The strategic position favoured the defensive role of Castello di Cassacco that still presents some of its originary features. The building dates back to the 13th century, and luckily it was not destroyed during feudal wars (an unusual example in the area). It is composed by two quadrangolar towers connected through a central body: the oldest part is represented by the southern tower. A famous legend says that this castle is connected to the near Tricesimo castle (both owned by the same family, Montegnacco) through an underground tunnel, that unfortunately has never been retraced 🙁
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