The Lovers’
path

Romeo and Juliet’s
Lovers’ Walk

Manzano

G&R: “The Prison of Love” e “Romeo’s Battle”

Manzano is one of Romeo and Juliet’s backdrops, full of places to be discovered and savoured!
For over 400 years, on February 14, we have celebrated St. Valentine, the patron saint of the city, the “Saint of Love” and an emblem of love in the world.
Here the tale of G&R is tinged with love and war. It is on the road from Gradisca d’Isonzo to Cividale del Friuli, that Luigi Da Porto talks to the archer Peregrino about his pains in love: “perhaps driven by Love, towards Udine on my way“. It is here in Manzano that he faced the challenge of his life; he fought, he was injured …Discover the places and the uniqueness that Manzano and its area has to offer.

Infopoint

Would you like to know more about the Municipality? Come and visit us and we will advise you to the best our points of interest, events or activities that Manzano has to offer.

Contacts
Via Stretta, 20
33044 Manzano (UD)
Tel. +39 0432 1799010

Place of heart

The places of Manzano and its territory, the period between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, which are the background to the love story of Romeo and Juliet.

Points of interest

Discover the origins, the history of Manzano and its territory, its historical and naturalistic points of interest. A cultural journey, to discover incredible and exciting places and facts.

Infopoint

Would you like to know more about the Municipality? Come and visit us and we will advise you to the best our points of interest, events or activities that Manzano has to offer.

Contacts
Via Stretta, 20
33044 Manzano (UD)
Tel. +39 0432 1799010

Place of heart

The places of Manzano and its territory, the period between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, which are the background to the love story of Romeo and Juliet.

Points of interest

Discover the origins, the history of Manzano and its territory, its historical and naturalistic points of interest. A cultural journey, to discover incredible and exciting places and facts.

G&R History
of Manzano

For over 400 years, on February 14, we have celebrated St. Valentine, the patron saint of the city, the “Saint of Love” and an emblem of love in the world.

G&R History
of Manzano

For over 400 years, on February 14, we have celebrated St. Valentine, the patron saint of the city, the “Saint of Love” and an emblem of love in the world.

DRIVEN BY LOVE

On the road from Gradisca to Udine, Luigi Da Porto described his feelings of love in the novella’s dedication to the “Beautiful and Radiant Madonna Lucina Savorgnana”:

[... ] For what starting from Gradisca...

[…] For which I departed from Gradisca, where he was staying in lodgings, and with him and two others of mine, perhaps driven by Love, towards Udine on my way; for which the road is very lonely and all burnt and destroyed by the war in that time was; and much from the suppressed thought, far from the others coming to me, Peregrino approached me, just how my thoughts predicted so he said to me: “Do you always wish to live a sad life, because a beauty cruel and elsewhere showing does not love you?

And although I often say to myself; well, because it is better to give, than the advice is not considered, I will tell you, my Patron, that in addition to you in the exercise that you are, to be long in the prison of love is unbecoming, so sad are almost all the ends to which it leads us, that it is a danger to follow it. And as a testimony of this, when it pleases you, I could tell you a tale from my city, in which the less solitary and less regrettable road will tell you; in which you would feel, as two noble Lovers were guided to a miserable and pitiful death » And having already signaled to hear him willingly, he began: “

THE MANZANESE BATTLE

In Manzano on 21 June 1511, Captain Luigi Da Porto and the troops of the Serenissima, directly confronted the imperials. From this dramatic series of events, followed by Luigi Da Porto’s injury, the pain and hope retold in the famous Novella were born, which he wrote and dedicated to his beloved Lucina Savorgnan and which would go on to become the most famous love story in the world.

From current studies

On the night of Wednesday 18 June 1511, the Imperials from Cormons went to raid Terenzano and Sammardenchia and were not intercepted by the Venetian troops. Also on the night of June 20, taking advantage of two nights with new moons, they successfully raided Zugliano and Basaldella too.
The troops of the Serenissima were then sent to the ford on the Natisone river, to block their return. They waited all night and part of the day of June 21. Nicolò Monticoli, descendant of the Montecchi of Verona, present at the battle, confirmed that the clash with the Imperials from Cormons took place on June 21, 1511 at four in the afternoon. In fact, at a certain point the Venetian lookouts under the command of Commander Vitturi saw the Imperial troops in the plains of Manzinello and as a signal, they bend a large branch of a cypress poplar on the opposite hill where they were stationed. That was the signal.
At this point the Imperials were discovered. First they met the vanguard on horseback and after a few battles, they withdrew. At this point, the Commander of the Imperial Purgstaller tactically recalculated. The Venetians had three hundred men on horseback and three hundred on foot at their disposal. Meanwhile, the Imperials had only one hundred men on horseback and four to five hundred men on foot. Given the disparity, Purgstaller, as Luigi Da Porto recalled, placed wagons carrying “loot” from the raidings across the “Gran Strada” (“Grand Street”), and commanded the infantry to gather facing the village of San Lorenzo. The Imperials stood in defense and waited. The place turned into a battlefield before the Venetians eventually got the better of it. While fleeing towards the ford on the plain, the Germans were intercepted by armed Friulian peasants and put into barrages by Commander Vitturi. All the Germans were killed.
Only ten, however, were Serenissima soldiers. Luigi was still there, wounded on the battlefield, a sword had pierced him from the neck to the spine and had caused him to fall to the ground, paralysed. Commander Vitturi helped him. The blow from the sword left him with a small open wound. He survived, but the left side of his body never fully recovered.
Due to the circumstances, the captain received initial care in the church of San Lorenzo, a few steps from the battle site.
Commander Vitturi helped him stop the bleeding and he made a plaster: in the Renaissance they used to make a wax and lead oxide-based compress that acted as a hemostatic. From there, Luigi was taken to Udine, and then to Venice and Vicenza.
The Commander of the Imperials, Purgstaller, was captured and emprisoned in Venice, before being released in exchange for the release of the Venetian prisoners.
For sources and in-depth information on the battle of Manzano San Lorenzo, click here.

Manzano

The first presence of man in the manzanese territory dates back to Roman times, there being no evidence of the same of earlier periods. The Roman origin would in fact be the origin of the name Manzano, which is supposed to come from the name of a settler, “Amantius“.

Following the decline of the Roman Empire, the territory was invaded by the Lombards, Avars, Slaves, and from 809 to 952, even the most terrible Hungarians, forcing the population to retreat into fortified buildings gathered among them. The village, left abandoned, assumed characteristics of swampy and uncultivated area, rediscovering productive thanks to the teaching of the Augustinian monks, who settled in the Abbey of Rosazzo.

Around 1090, it was the turn of a German family, who accompanied the patriarch Voldarico, settled in Manzano, becoming the undisputed mistress and abandoning the original name, they assumed that of the place just conquered. The Lords of Manzano, driven by the desire for expansion and a quiet nature, sided both for the Patriarch of Aquileia and for the Count of Gorizia, taking part in the struggles between the two sides.
Manzano later experienced terrible years, both when in 1477 the Turks were the protagonists of fierce raids, and in 1509 when the soldiers of Duke Otto of Brunswich set it on fire.

It has seven hamlets: San Lorenzo, Oleis, Manzinello, San Nicolò, Villa Naglos, Abate Geroldo, Segheria Roggia, Rosazzo.

Places between 1400 and 1500

Manzano Castle

15th – 16th century, Manzano

Manzano is left without defences: betrayal, dismissal and demolition of the castle by the Venetians 1431

The territory of Manzano was built around the castle as a point of reference for the population and used as protection, until its removal and destruction by the Venetians.
The castle was built by the Lords, later the Counts of Manzano, a noble family of Germanic origin, who descended into Friuli in 1090.
From 1300 it was besieged and finally reconquered in 1361 by Duke Rudolph IV of Austria, but Udine, Cividale and Gemona reconquered it and set it on fire in 1362. The gastaldia of the place was ceded to Cividale, which remained until 1431.
1431 marked the end of the castle’s history with the Venetians’ war against Ludovico di Teck, who entered Friuli with 5000 Hungarians: Pantaleone and Giovanni di Manzano supported the latter, but were taken prisoner by the Venetians and sentenced to death. At the request of the community of Cividale they were pardoned on condition that their castle was razed to the ground. This destruction made the population unable to defend themselves against the Turkish incursions. In 1477 the Turks invaded Friuli and sacked Manzano as well. The town suffered further devastation in 1509, when Duke Otto of Brunswich’s troops set fire to it. In 1509, when Duke Otto of Brunswick’s troops entered Friuli, they set fire to the town. The only remaining parts of the ring-shaped manor house were the walls, which over time also crumbled due to constant erosion caused by the flooding of the Natisone River.

Abbey of Rosazzo

1091 – 1529, Rosazzo

A Venetian defensive stronghold until the Imperials burned it down in 1509

The progressive swamping and forestation of the countryside was halted by the settlement of Augustinian monks in the Abbey of Rosazzo.
It stands on the eastern hills of Friuli, in the municipality of Manzano, straddling roads that once enjoyed considerable strategic importance. Tradition has it that in the 19th century the hermit Alemanno settled in these solitary places. First the canons of St Augustine were called, and then the Benedictines from the Carinthian monastery of Millstatt (1091).
During the struggles between Aquileia and Cividale, between Venice and the imperialists, the Abbey of Rosazzo was transformed into a defensive fortress. The monks left the abbey, which was governed from 1423 until 1751 by commendatory abbots.
In 1509, after various vicissitudes of war and raids, a fire ruined the Abbey. Twenty years later, the rebirth of the abbey complex began with the help of Venceslao Boiani, an architect from Cividale. From the Abbey of Rosazzo, on clear days you can enjoy an incomparable view.

La Sdricca

15th – 16th century, Oleis

The Casa Forte of the Counts of Manzano after the destruction of their castle

A point of interest in the area is the ancient rural centre of La Sdricca, which gives its name to the nature trail. The locality can be reached through the only road connecting the area, which is the “vicinal road” behind the cemetery of Manzano. The first documented news about the place dates back to 1170, when a deed of donation mentions a certain “Henrichus de Stricha” Of particular interest is the building that was remodelled in the mid-15th century and used by the Manzano family to replace the castle demolished by the Venetians. On 29 July 1917, the Arditi Corps was founded in Sdricca.

Villa Romano

14th century, Houses

A nucleus that had defensive functions with ancient crenellated walls and towers

The villa belongs to the Borgo di Case, which belonged to the gastaldia of Cividale in the 14th century. A residential nucleus enclosed by stone walls with battlements. The villa (XVI – XVII) and the adjacent church of San Tommaso, already mentioned in 1485, are valuable architectonic and urban elements.

Church of San Martino

14th century, Houses

The place where Luigi Da Porto was brought for first aid on 20 June 1511

The exterior of the church has a beautiful late-Gothic grey stone portal, datable towards the end of the 15th century, with pointed arches and pilasters of refined Renaissance design. The church underwent renovations in the 18th century. Following the clashes on 20 June 1511, Luigi Da Porto was wounded and brought here to the little church.

Villa Beria

16th century, Sale Decarvalho

Manor house with original defensive walls of the period

This is a 16th century palace, a residential building, surrounded by a large park and enclosed by original walls, with the typical characteristics of country manor houses. At the entrance of the villa we are greeted by a beautiful portal with the coat of arms of the Counts of Trento. The Villa was first owned by the Prampero family, then, by succession, by the Counts of Trento and again by succession by the Beria family. The main body of the Villa has a rectangular plan, with regular openings framed in stone and rises on three floors, with the barchesse (outbuildings) to the side. Among the rustic annexes of the Villa, the Palazzina di Caccia (Hunting Lodge), located on the hill above Villa Beria (Colle Montuzza), is noteworthy. The three-storey Palazzina was built during the 19th century as a panoramic and leisure venue.

Church of Saints Hermacora and Fortunato 15th century

15th century, Soleschian

Church of St. Ermacora and St. Fortunato

The church in the hamlet of Soleschiano, dedicated to the two Martyrs of Aquileia, was first documented in 1463 (Fraternity of St. Hermacora of Soleschiano, 16th century). During the earthquake of 1511 the church was seriously damaged and was therefore renovated. During the 17th century the church underwent a major renovation, which was completed in 1684. In 1946, the façade was painted by Luigi Diamante. The church was restored in 1990.

The battle

21 June 1511, Manzano

Imperials vs Venetians: the epic battle of Captain Luigi Da Porto aka "Romeo"

On 21 June 1511 in San Lorenzo, on the Gran Strada (today’s Via Pietro di Brazzà), a battle was fought in which Captain Luigi Da Porto took part.
Luigi Da Porto was wounded on the battlefield by a sword that pierced him from the neck towards the spine and caused him to fall paralysed. He recovers, but the left side of his body is forever compromised. He is taken to the nearby church of San Lorenzo, where he receives initial treatment. From Manzano, Luigi Da Porto was taken to Udine, and then to Venice and Vicenza, where he began his convalescence and devoted himself to literary art.

Points of interest

G&R Bench

Manzano

Manzano is left without defences: betrayal, dismissal and demolition of the castle by the Venetians 1431

On the plain of San Lorenzo, on the Gran Strada (today’s Via Pietro di Brazzà), on 21 June 1511, the troops of the Serenissima with Captain Luigi Da Porto clashed directly with the imperial troops. This dramatic event, followed by the wounding of Luigi Da Porto, gave rise to the pain and hope reported in the famous Novella, which he wrote and dedicated to his beloved Lucina Savorgnan and which was to become the most famous love story in the world.
It is on the road from Gradisca d’Isonzo “perhaps d’Amore sospinto, verso Udine venendo”, that Luigi Da Porto speaks to the archer Peregrino about his love pains.
For over 400 years, Manzano has celebrated Saint Valentine, the patron saint of the town, on 14 February: the “Saint of Love” and emblem of love in the world.

Natisone River

Manzano

A historic line of ancient fords and corners of enchanted nature

In terms of its breadth, geomorphological characteristics, location and fish fauna, this river is one of the most interesting watercourses in Friuli Venezia Giulia. South of Cividale begins the most characteristic and wild course of the river, which enters the characteristic gorge before the Roman bridge at Premariacco, then near Manzano the bank lowers and the river flows in a wide bed, characterised by considerable gravel deposits. On its way south, the river completely disappears into the alluvial stratum and flows into the Torre stream.
The river has a great naturalistic appeal and can be reached from the Sdricca called Crejs di Vuelis. In history the river has been a line of passage with its various fording points.

The Romantic Road

Palazzo XVII, Manzano

The romantic road to the castle: via Francesco di Manzano

A palace with a tower and Ghibelline crenellated walls of imperial memory, dating back to the 17th century and now owned by the Fornasarig family, takes us back in time. The narrow street between the walls, with a small wooden and wrought iron bridge across it, connects the palace to a park of centuries-old trees. A romantic road that leads towards the ruins of Manzano Castle.

Roseto

Rosazzo

Soft hills from the Abbey's romantic rose garden

The Rose Trail runs around the perimeter of the Abbey and is made up of ancient and modern roses. The rose symbolising love in this place enchants visitors and becomes a romantic place to visit.
It was planted in 1998 and all the most important families of old roses (gallica, alba, damask, centifolia, noisette, bourbon, Chinese, whicuraiana, etc.) are included, as well as several modern roses.
The spectacle that can be admired in spring is unparalleled.
The annual event Rosazzo da Rosa is dedicated to this splendid flower.

Read more and download the map here.

Caterina Percoto

1812 – 1887, San Lorenzo

Caterina Percoto, originally Caterina Marianna, was born in San Lorenzo di Soleschiano.

Her family was a noble one of lawyers, artists and men of letters. Caterina was the only child of seven. When her father died in 1821, her family moved to Udine. This period gave rise to the writer’s strong aversion to the monkish education of women, a theme that Caterina Percoto defended throughout her life. In 1828 she met her first love, a young man of Jewish origin. Because of this, the relationship was severely opposed by both her family and the nuns. In 1829, she left the convent for financial reasons. After his return home, he began to devote himself to the family business and the education of his younger brothers and sisters.
This is how she describes the place…of San Lorenzo:
I was born in a romantic little villa in Friuli, and I loved the fresh air and the green fields with a passion… running at the foot of the hills or on the banks of the stream, getting lost in the thicket of the fields…

Villa de Piccoli Savorgnan

1715, Brazzà Soleschiano

A property of the descendants of Antonio Savorgnan

It is a villa in pure Venetian style, whose construction dates back to 1715. The Savorgnan di Brazzà family purchased the complex together with the entire village of Soleschiano. The park behind it was designed by Count Ascanio Savorgnan di Brazzà (1793 – 1877), father of the explorer Pietro, who worked on the park.
Noteworthy is the large oak tree nearby. A centuries-old oak, characterised by its considerable size and slow growth.

The power of the mills

Manzano

Since 1878 the power of water and steam in the first chair factories

The presence of mills in Manzano dates back to ancient times, documented as early as 1200. In 1878 important hydraulic works were carried out to transform the water courses with the “Rosta” dam, the Roggia Canal and other canals and branches. Several factories were built along its course, which also continued beyond the current state road. Many of the chair manufacturing activities that sprang up in Manzano in those years, coming from Mariano del Friuli, exploited the energy of the diverted water to run the machines and the power of steam to bend the wooden elements, mostly on beech wood, which was suitable for such work. There were several workshops, such as the Fornasarig workshop which was installed near the Roggia Canal and Via dei Mulini, where the power of water and steam was used to produce rustic chairs and “Thonet-type” chairs.

Chairs

Manzano

The chair district for world production

In 1797, with the fall of the Serenissima to Napoleon, Manzano passed to the Hapsburgs and remained there, except for the parenthesis of the French Italic Kingdom, until 1866, when Friuli was reunited with Italy.
In 1878, the Zaneto brothers and Toni Fornasarig arrived from Mariano del Friuli, which at the time was part of the Austrian territories. They moved to Manzano to keep selling bentwood chairs in the Friuli area and to avoid the high border duty. Since the 1960s, the industrial centre, initially made up of the municipalities of Corno di Rosazzo, Manzano and San Giovanni al Natisone, or the “Chair Triangle”, has gradually expanded since the 1970s to include eleven municipalities covering an area of over 220 square kilometres, which has transformed the territory into the “Chair District”. Since the 1960s, the industrial core, initially made up of the municipalities of Corno di Rosazzo, Manzano and San Giovanni al Natisone, or the “Chair Triangle“, has gradually expanded since the 1970s to include eleven municipalities covering an area of over 220 square kilometres, which has transformed the territory into the “Chair District”.