The village-castle of Cordovado, fortified by the bishops of Concordia in the 11th century, was for almost four centuries the most important castle on the plains, also because it was built on a junction that connected to Austria. Of the castle today remain the walls, moat and gate towers, which enclose a small village of rare beauty, elected among the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy. Inside the village is the Freschi-Piccolomini Palace, which can be visited during events, with its beautiful park. Every year, Cordovado hosts the famous Medieval Reenactment in which the districts are seen competing for a coveted trophy.
Since 2004, ANCI has awarded Cordovado the coveted title of one of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages. The medieval village is walled and paved in cobblestones; medieval small houses and two gate towers, including the clock tower, to which a 14th-century church is attached, can be seen there.
The Freschi-Piccolomini Palace is the private home of the Piccolomini counts. The 17th-century villa and its marvelous park can be visited during the “Castles Open Days,” held twice a year, for the Rose Festival, held every two years, or by reservation.
Every first Sunday in September, the Historical Reenactment with the Palio of the districts is held in Cordovado. The event brings the village back to a perfectly reconstructed 14th-century setting and allows visitors to taste real medieval dishes.
Cordovado is a delightful village that seems to have stopped in medieval times. The fortified village is enclosed by a wall circuit and is protected by a large moat that still exists today. The walls are well preserved, as is the thousand-year-old clock tower. The buildings are built of ancient stone and date from different eras.
Within the village, among the many historical architectures are a 14th-century small church, the 15th-century Palazzo Agricola, the early 17th-century sanctuary of Baroque architecture of the Madonna delle Grazie, the 15th-century parish church of St. Andrew, the 17th-century Villa Freschi-Piccolomini, and the early 19th-century romantic park. Cordovado has been one of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages since 2004, and every year at the end of August a well-known historical re-enactment takes place there.
The Freschi-Piccolomini Palace, a private residence of the counts, is a three-story Venetian-style villa.
The villa can be visited by reservation or at events. The interior is fascinating with the sumptuous stained glass windows and frescoes, the fireplaces and tiled stoves decorating each room, the antique furniture, and the paintings, most notably the painting representing the family tree. There you can also visit the library and the music room, in which the floor, made of wood intended for violin making, has the characteristic of being sounding board.
The park surrounding the villa dates back to the 1800s and is a poetic place, rich in flowering plants and tall trees, some of them centuries old. In the park is a newly created magical labyrinth of damask roses, a must-see during the two-day Rose Festival held in Cordovado in May.
In Cordovado you can leave your car in any lay-by outside the town wall. Behind the Church of St. Andrew the Apostle is a large free parking lot.
Castello di Cordovado consists of the outer fortifications and the beautiful village it encloses. The hamlet is inhabited and a bar is located there. It can be freely visited, unlike the villa, which is privately owned and is opened to the public at events.
A visit to the fortified village takes about half an hour. A visit, by reservation, to the Piccolomini villa and its gardens takes 1/2 hour.
The Medieval Reenactment in Cordovado is a much-awaited event in Friuli Venezia Giulia, as the staging is very well done, the Palio dei rioni is organized, and dishes with a medieval flavor can be tasted.
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