Small stone houses and cobbled lanes give the tiny village of Giassico, a hamlet of Cormòns, an old-world charm. The church of S. Stefano Protomartire, which preserves a 15th-century terracotta portal, soars with its elegant bell tower above the medieval buildings. A few steps away, the sober forms of the Manzano palace, a pearl of Friulian rural architecture, are revealed.
Between truth and legend, it is said that a group of benandanti (a term that can be translated to 'good walkers') lived among the narrow streets of Jaxico between the 16th and 17th centuries. Members of a small peasant congregation with a pagan cult, the benandanti worshipped fertility and proposed themselves as protectors of the Friulian countryside against the evil spells of the witches.
Inimical to the Counter-Reformation Church, which condemned any alternative practice to that promoted by the Vatican, the benandanti were tried by the Inquisition, an institution created to verify the correct application of Catholic orthodoxy.