Giacomo Ceconi, born in Pielungo in 1833, emigrated in search of fortune as a young man. He became a railway builder, building the viaduct of Borovnica (today Slovenia) and the railway section between Klagenfurt and Maribor. He obtained contracts in Croatia, Carinthia and Hungary. His most important works are the Arlberg Tunnel in Tyrol, inaugurated by Emperor Franz Joseph, and the Wochein Tunnel in present-day Slovenia. The municipality of Bohinjska Bistrica dedicated a square to Ceconi on the occasion of his centenary.
The title of nobility was conferred on him by Emperor Franz Joseph for his entrepreneurial merits. In 1893, King Umberto I of Italy also recognised his value by naming him Conte di Montececon, after the hill near Pielungo where he was born. Always tied to the Arzino Valley, Giacomo Ceconi had his castle built in neo-Gothic style in Pielungo and his tomb is located in this incredible place. The building was damaged by fire in 1944, when it housed the Osoppo partisan command post, and later by the 1976 earthquake. It was later restored. Today it is privately owned, but has not belonged to the Ceconi family since 1947.
Count Ceconi was very dedicated to his beloved valley: he financed the completion of the Regina Margherita road from Casiacco to Pielungo, at the end of the 19th century, and schools and houses for teachers. He also had the new parish church built, and founded and presided over the Workers’ Society. He was mayor for three terms and councillor of the Province of Udine in 1905.
In 2020 a bas-relief in solid wood was inaugurated in memory of Count Ceconi, along the former provincial road 1 of Val d’Arzino, at the junction for Pielungo.
For information on visiting the tomb (the interior of the castle cannot be visited) contact the Municipality: tel. 0427 80136.