The Castle of the Rocca Bernarda rises between Cividale and Cormòns: initially a fief of the patriarchate of Aquileia, it was later donated to the community of Cividale which in the 15th century left it to the Roman family Capiferro. No noble residence in Friuli enjoys such a beautiful location as the Rocca Bernarda, set in an Italian model landscape with centuries-old cypress trees, vineyards and a wonderful view in the vast panorama. In this ideal setting the Counts Valvason Maniago erected a residence of high architectural value in the 16th century.
Rocca Bernarda History
Although the complex is often referred to as a castle, it is actually a villa, or rather a model of an ideal villa, a refined family home in the simplicity of a country house, open to nature. Although the external appearance is due to a fortified construction, as it consists of four wings with cylindrical angular towers marked by loopholes that give the structure an almost martial appearance, which in fact the complex has never had, the Rocca Bernarda was born, in reality , as a country residence set in an exclusive landscaping position. The Rocca Bernarda did not rise on the ruins of an old Friulian castle, as there are no traces of fiefdoms or political domains in the area where it has settled. Rather, in 1567, it was born as a private architecture. The construction also expressed a certain noble power that was a source of irritation for the city of Cividale.
The same Republic of Venice, at the time, hindered the construction of the castle at the gates of the city of Cividale, but the counts Valvason Maniago had no difficulty in demonstrating that it was born without any military purpose. The walls, of a thickness typical for the villas of the time, however never exceeding seventy centimeters, could not resist even a slight siege, considering that already in the late Middle Ages an important castle wall had to be at least three meters wide . The towers of the Rocca Bernarda take on the value of stately decor, as well as the loopholes not located in a strategic position but well exposed to the visitor.
The complex, however not very sure because near the border, never had the value of a feudal castle but rather of a Friulian villa, founded on the patrimony of a feudal aristocracy and established itself as the first example of a four-tower villa in Friuli. An evocative avenue with centuries-old olive and rose trees leads through a first entrance to a stately court that appears to the visitor with great surprise in the form a pleasant terrace with a small Italian garden on which overlooks a suggestive orangery with large windows. The court, defined only on two sides by inhabited buildings, opens onto the beautiful view of the landscape, which extends from the hills to the city of Udine. A second entrance leads to a level below the Italian court with belvedere, where the cellar is located, a large room with vaulted ceilings reserved for aging wines.
The Rocca Bernarda, which was born as a residence of the Counts Valvason Maniago, passed in the late eighteenth century to the Marieschi, then to the Antoninis and finally to the Perusins. The dedication of Count Giacomo Perusini is due to the development on the surrounding hills of the Picolit wine grapes that over the years has gained great fame in the world, making the complex the seat of a winery belonging, as the whole complex, to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta after the earl inheritance of the Count in 1977.