Osteria BarBagianni, immersed in the quiet of the town of Strassoldo with its magnificent medieval castles of di Sopra and di Sotto, is one of the charming places of Friuli Venezia Giulia: a traditional tavern finely decorated with the artistic majolica created by the architect and designer Anna De Vincenzo Vidal.
One of the most beautiful towns in Italy, the first written traces of Strassoldo date back to 530, but it was only two centuries later that the two separate fortresses were built as we see them today, the Castello di Sopra and the Castello di Sotto, still belonging to the same family that established them over a thousand years ago.
Thanks to the care of its “hosts”, the Counts of Strassoldo, this small village has come, in fact, almost intact to the present day, preserving its artistic and cultural heritage, the wonderful parks and a sense of community also given by the commitment of the family in supporting the artists and craftsmen who over the years have enriched this place with their works.
It is impossible to remain indifferent to the charm of this corner of history and culture, magically intact for over 1000 years, which we love to pay homage through the art of majolica and the best hospitality of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
(De Vincenzo Vidal family)
Among them, Anna De Vincenzo Vidal, an architect of Piedmontese origin, fell in love with this enchanted manor so much that she opened her ceramic and artistic majolica atelier, Antica Dimora dell’Arte, right at the gates of the village. In 2019, her daughter Carolina decided to transform her mother’s art studio, which only moved a few meters away, into a tavern that pays homage to the tradition of the place with great originality, offering a wide selection of cold cuts, cheeses, local wines and craft beer, perfect for breakfast or an aperitif.
A return to the origins, since, where BarBagianni is today, at the beginning of the twentieth century, under the Habsburg domination, the tavern “Maximilian Khun von Kuhnenfeld” had opened, named after the son of Baron Franz Kuhn von Kuhnenfeld, Minister of the war of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which from 1891 to 1896 stayed in Strassoldo.
The splendid room with thick brick stone walls was decorated by Anna with hundreds of small tiles that gave life to infinite wonders, such as the ceramic stove, a true ecological masterpiece, the tables with colorful designs, and even the walls and the terracotta floor was worked with hand-painted inserts and then baked by the artist in special ovens.
A decoration that goes perfectly with the conservative recovery that has been carried out of the original interiors, where even the blackened burns in the niches caused by the torches that once illuminated the room have been preserved.
The Castles of Strassoldo, which can be visited by appointment, also open during the year for beautiful events, such as Magici Intrecci, organized in spring and autumn by Countess Gabriella W. di Strassoldo, owner of Castello di Sopra, together with her cousin Ombretta, wife of the owner of the adjacent Castello di Sotto, which for 23 years has been an unmissable event for lovers of beauty and artistic manufacture.
An opportunity to also visit the magnificent parks, cared for by the owners who, lovers of English gardens, have enriched them over the years with splendid collections of rare and ancient roses, hydrangeas, heather, camellias, romantic wrought iron gazebos and clouds of medicinal plants.
And after a break at BarBagianni and a walk along the main street of the town (always open), you may feel like trying other local delicacies. So, continuing along the Aquileia Wine Road, you can stop at Mulino delle Tolle farmhouse, just 2 km away, where you can taste excellent homemade pasta and gnocchi with the sauce of their farm animals, and then continue towards the recently renovated National Archaeological Museum of Aquileia.
The castles of Strassoldo have hosted many illustrious personalities, testimony to the importance that the town has played over the course of history. Like Emperor Frederick IV who stayed here in 1489, Field Marshal Radetzky, who married Countess Francesca Romana Strassoldo, and Field Marshal, Baron Kuhn von Kuhnenfeld, Councilor and Minister of War of Emperor Franz Joseph and Chancellor of the Order of Maria Theresa, whose daughter married Giulio Cesare Strassoldo.