Borgo dei Conti della Torre (which literally translates as the ‘Hamlet of the Counts of the Tower’) is a cluster of ancient agricultural buildings on the banks of the Tagliamento River, not far from the small town of Morsano al Tagliamento, that has regained its former splendour following lengthy and meticulous restoration work.
The Borgo is flourishing with a new lease of life, offering Bed & Breakfast accommodation at this splendid ‘agritourism’ property. We are located in the heart of the Friuli region, with a myriad of possibilities of discovering the area within less than an hour’s drive. We are just 7 km from the Latisana motorway exit, 20 km from the city of Udine, 20 km from Pordenone and 25 km from Lignano Sabbiadoro. Within the Borgo, the magnificent, sumptuous Main House dominates the panorama. This eighteenth-century Villa is embellished with charming frescoes and features three spacious suites, tastefully and stylishly furnished and equipped with every type of modern comfort.
Adjacent to the Villa is the fully renovated "Gastaldia", the so-called residence of the ‘gastaldo’, or overseer who used to govern the many farmers who lived and worked on the 200 hectares of the farmland surrounding the Borgo, which we have converted into 10 rooms, each with their own bathroom, satellite TV and air conditioning. The rooms are furnished in such a way as to preserve the charm of the simple yet refined furnishings that are so typical of Friulian farming culture. Guests will find homemade pastries prepared on site by the ladies of the house in the breakfast room. The swimming pool, nestled in the peace and tranquillity of the garden, will enable you to relax and enjoy absolute privacy during your stay at the Borgo. Bicycles are available for those who wish to discover the beauty of the neighbouring Friulian countryside. We can also arrange visits to local wineries for you, and arrange tee-off times for keen golfers, as our agritourism accommodation is located half an hour's drive from the golf clubs of Lignano, Udine, Grado and Caorle.
THE HISTORY OF BORGO DEI CONTI DELLA TORRE
The Borgo currently consists of 13 main buildings and a number of outbuildings, for a total of 17 structures, with an additional two existing buildings in the environmental restoration area. Renovation and hygienic-sanitary work on 4 of the buildings around the main courtyard have already been completed.
THE MAIN RESIDENCE
Together with the small church, the principal manor house is the most historically and artistically important building in the complex. Restoration work has revealed an ancient section, most probably a 15th-century tower house which, after being damaged by floods, was transformed and expanded into a long building. Its layout is defined by simple rectangular openings of the main ‘piano nobile’ floor and by two arched doorways providing access to the central staircase via external stairs. The attic windows and shaped wooden brackets of the eaves characterise the design of the frontage, and the frescoed sundials on the main and west façade are particularly worthy of note. Inside the residence, renovation work revealed a fascinating fresco decoration containing architectural elements, which partially dates back to the early 1700s and partly to the Napoleonic era, and which has been lovingly restored.
The Villa underwent an intervention at the beginning of the 20th century, which involved the repainting of the beams on the ‘piano nobile’ floor and the replacement of all the internal doors and original window frames, as well as the lowering of the central hall's ceiling by approximately 50 cm. The building spans three floors, with the ground floor, originally employed as a wine cellar and today used for catering services, slightly below ground level. A first rough sketch of the building can be seen in a map dated 1766, while a detailed drawing from 1803, made on the occasion of the death of Count Lucio Sigismondo della Torre, clearly depicts the Villa in its current composition. The walls are made of brick, with the exception of certain sections, which were constructed using stones taken from the river. The structural and sanitary conditions of the property are excellent, following the restoration work, which also resulted in the recovery of the original 18th and 19th-century decorative pictorial elements.
Despite alterations, especially on the façade, where the portal with its concrete jambs and architraves appears enlarged compared to the original dimensions, and where a round window, also made of concrete, was inserted in 1965, the small single-nave church, with its newly built roof, still preserves its original features. This is particularly notable in the apse, with its ribbed vaults, and on the south wall with a recently restored fresco from 1511 depicting the Holy Trinity between St. Sebastian and St. Roch. The sacristy to the south is an addition, most likely carried out during the 1965 restoration work. The 15th-century chapel dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul is consecrated and seats about forty people.
This long three-storey building, which closes off the garden of the Villa to the east, is the result of a series of aggregations undertaken in the early 19th century. The original nucleus had an L-shaped plan and extended southward; it was later enlarged towards the north until it intersected with the corner of the small church. On the north wall, there is a lowered arch, now walled up, where a sculpture in Istrian stone was inserted in the 1960s, depicting the lion of St. Mark. The inscription below (NOB. MATHEUS), dated 1502 (MCCCCCII), is incomplete. This sculpture was discovered during agricultural work taking place near the destroyed Madrisio bridge. The Gastaldia has maintained its typical Neo-classical geometric layout, with the exception of a rectangular portal that was created in 1965. Inside, the ceilings still display their original trusses, as do the large attic rooms, formerly used as granaries, preserving the structure of the roof with rafters, purlins and tiles. The walls are made of brick with rows of stones. In 2006, the building was completely renovated to be used for agritourism accommodation, creating 11 rooms with all modern comforts, a breakfast room and storage rooms, while also preserving the caretaker's living quarters.
This long rural building, with its open portico supported by pillars, closes off the garden to the south side in front of the main Villa's façade. It is characterised by a series of brick pillars and on the eastern end by a room whose ceiling beams, purlins, and roof tiles suggest the existence of an additional floor above this area which was subsequently demolished. The wall to the south incorporates or is in line with the ancient garden’s enclosure wall. The building has been restored and completely redeveloped, including the construction of a small tower on the eastern end. A canopy covering an old washhouse is attached to the south side. The building is now in excellent condition.
BED AND BREAKFAST ACCOMMODATION
The Bed & Breakfast accommodation at Borgo dei Conti della Torre is located in the annex just a few steps from the Villa. Here, totally immersed in nature, you can relax and choose the room that suits you best. There are 11 themed bedrooms at your disposal, every one unique and equipped with all types of modern comfort, and characterised by an extreme attention to style and detail. The refined simplicity and intimate, welcoming atmosphere will be sure to make you feel instantly at home. In the morning, you will be pampered with typical Italian breakfast delicacies (cake the way ‘la nonna’ makes it, pastries and tarts with organic jam, etc.), lovingly prepared by hosts Elena and Camilla. You can enjoy the swimming pool located in the garden. The B&B can also be booked exclusively by groups of friends, sports parties, families with children and vacationing friends, and accommodates up to a maximum of 25 people.