Villa Romano & Jàcun Pitôr
Villa Romano-Rodaro, thanks to its classical design, offers its visitors a prestigious and a very warm welcome. The Rodaro family bought Villa Romano in 2002 from the Countess Elisabetta Bertoli Romano (Conte Antonio Romano’s wife). Built in the 17th century, the well-preserved beauty of the Villa lies in its design, which draws much from the Venetian School, a style which the nobility of the time considered as highly desirable. The centrepiece of the Villa’s main facade is a beautiful outdoor staircase with two opposing flights, which lead up to a beautiful arched doorway, flanked on either side by stone pillars. On either side of this noble entrance there are two wonderful double-arched, mullioned windows, whose design both complement and enhance the character of the facade, divided as they are by a central stone pillar, on which the window shutters stand. Returning to ground level, and directly below these outstanding first floor windows, there are two corresponding rectangular doorways, both of which are framed by stone pillars and beams. Today these act as entrances to a meeting room and a small cellar, in which time continues to stand still. Meanwhile in the Villa’s cellar, resting in small oak barrels are RODARO’s much celebrated evolutionary Red wines, those destined to carry the award winning label ‘ROMAIN’.
Indeed, in one of the main ground floor rooms, one can find a wonderful series of ‘naive’ wall murals, dating back to the early 1900′s. These murals depict both religious and profane scenes as painted by acclaimed local artist, Giacomo Meneghini (1851-1935), also known in Friuli as Jàcun Pitôr and in Slovenia as Jakob Malar. Born in Nimis (Friuli Venezia Giulia) in 1851, Giacomo never went to school. All of his early days were spent roaming the hills between Nimis, Cividale and up the Natisone Valley, Veneto and Slovenia. What he learned came directly from the ‘University of Life’. His spirit was unspoilt and what he encountered provided him with an unlimited supply of imagery and poetry, which ensured his work always retained a freshness. He was instinctive, a champion of street art as it were. With subject matter ranging from the figurative to the animated and the written word, with all images recounting stories, proverbs of old and riddles of the day. He traded his gift for art and colour, painting as he did in private residences, hostelries and churches. All he asked in return was mere hospitality and a little of life’s comforts. Judging by the extent of his work at the Villa Romano, the Conte Romano was obviously a great believer in Jàcun’s talent. Just like we are. The extensive collection of Jàcun Pitôr’s charming, sacred and sometimes profane works at the Villa Romano can be viewed by appointment.