The imposing Castle of Catajo
Everything about the Castle of Catajo – in the Euganean Hills, on the road from Padua to Battaglia Terme – is imposing.
Even some of the names suggest monumental proportions: it has a “Courtyard of the Giants” (which was once filled with water to hold naumachiae) and an exotic “Elephant Fountain”.
There are mighty staircases built for the passage of horses, and huge gardens with redwoods from America.
Built between 1570 and 1573 by Pio Enea I Obizzi – an enterprising figure who some say invented the howitzer (known as “obice” in Italian, which could derive from his family name) –, the Castle of Catajo looks like a medieval fortress.
In fact, it is a sumptuous, peaceful and aristocratic home, designed by Andrea Della Valle to celebrate the splendor of the French-origin family that since the 11th century had gaven rise to various descents in Tuscany, Liguria and Veneto.
The hall on the main floor – which is, of course, huge – is densely illustrated with the Obizzi family tree, battle scenes and symbolic representations of various forms of government.
Let’s allow ourselves to get lost in this grand, Venetian mansion.