Castello del Catajo (Italy)
The Castle of Catajo owes its construction to the Obizzi family, originally from Burgundy (France), it can be considered, in Italian history, a family of "Captains of fortune", arrived in Italy in the wake of Emperor Henry II in 1007. In a period of peace, Pio Enea I degli Obizzi (who imposed the name to the lobster, the siege cannon), attracted by the beauty of the Euganean Hills, decided to build a palace appropriate to the glory of the family by expanding the previous maternal house built in first decades of the 16th century, today called Casa di Beatrice. It was designed by the same Pio Enea using the help of architect Andrea Da Valle and is halfway between the military castle and the princely villa. The most imposing part called Castel Vecchio was built in only three years between 1570 and 1573 although several extensions were made until the second half of the nineteenth century. At the beginning there were only paintings on the external walls (now only partially legible) but in 1571 Pio Enea called Gian Battista Zelotti, a disciple of Paolo Veronese, to fresco the interior walls with the deeds of his family, giving life to one of the most spectacular cycles of frescoes of the Venetian villas.
The Obizzi family became extinct in 1803 with the Marquis Tommaso, who left the castle to the heirs of the Casa d'Este, Arciduchi of Modena; they were years of splendor with Francesco IV and Maria Beatrice di Savoia, who particularly loved the castle and built the most visible north wing, called Castel Nuovo, to host the visiting Austrian imperial court. On the death of Francis V, without children, the Catajo passed to the heir to the throne of Austria Francesco Ferdinando D'Asburgo. It was by these two last owners that the archaeological collections of Obizzi, together with vast collections including musical instruments, weapons and paintings, were transferred to Vienna and the castle of Konopiste in Prague. After the First World War the Catajo was requisitioned by the Italian government as reparation for war damages. Auctioned following the 1929 crisis, the castle was bought by Dalla Francesca who sold it at the end of 2015. The castle is still privately owned.