Villa de Claricini Dornpacher is situated in the outskirts of Bottenicco, a small rural village immersed in the green amphitheatre of the hills surrounding Cividale del Friuli.
The building includes a large stately home, a grand courtyard with a well in front of the facade, a chapel, two “barchesse” (porticoed outbuildings), a garden and a park. Dating from mid 17th Century, the villa has an elongated architectural shape, which resembles the Friulian style manor house.
In the centre of the roof there is a turret with a gable, and the tall Venetian chimneys confer grandeur to the building. Inside the villa on the two floors there is a vast central hall with two suites of rooms aligned laterally. The rooms, harmoniously furnished, contain original furniture. They are open to the public from 9.30 to 12.30 from April to October inclusive, every first Sunday of the month. Entrance fee and by appointment only. To book an event or a wedding reception please contact us by email or by telephone (0432 733234).

The Garden

In front of the villa, facing South, there is a splendid Italian style garden, enclosed by balustrades. Pots of lemon plants and flowers skirt the large central stone path, which divides symmetrically green areas, adorned with box shrubs, statues and fountains. The garden expands into an extended woodland park made up of clusters of secular trees like beech, pine, cedar and holly oak.

The Chapel

Entrance to the Chapel of “Santa Croce” is from the grand courtyard. Built around 1700, the facade has three arches on the lower floor and a central window with balustrades and side recesses on the upper floor. On the roof there is a fine single bell tower. Inside there is only one rectangular room with wall paintings of Saints by Giacomo Carneo. The apsis is adorned with paintings by Lucilio Candido (18th Century) and features a polychrome marble altar of great beauty, a cross and statues of Saint Eurosia and Saint Francis. The chapel has been painstakingly restored in 2004 with funds from the De Claricini Foundation.

The History

The counts de Claricini, owners of the villa in Bottenicco, originated from Bologna. They moved to Cividale around mid 13th Century, where they gained power and wealth through political allegiances and marriages to influential local families. In 1368 they were bestowed with feudal properties by the emperor Charles IV and in 1418, through another imperial investiture, de Claricini were granted the honour to add to their name the attribute of Dornpacher, the name of an extinct Austrian noble House. Political and cultural events were held in high regard by the De Claricini. The scholar Nicolò de Claricini is remembered for transcribing the Divine Comedy in 1466, thus endowing his lineage with one of the most ancient Friulian Dantesque codes. In the 17th Century there were two Knights of Malta, both named Giacomo and more recently, Count Nicolò (1864 – 1946) was Chair of the Venerable Ark of Padua’s Saint and had a great interest in Dante’s works and the art of Giotto. His daughter Giuditta (1891 – 1968), the last owner of the villa in Bottenicco, was a collector and a scholar of textile art. The Foundation de Claricini – Dornpacher was established as per her will, with the aim of preserving the ancestors heritage and promoting cultural studies and events.

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