Anecdotes and Curiosities about Venice and the Veneto region: secrets revealed by a tour guide

Discover, through the legends and mysteries told by our tour guide Francesca, a different side of this wonderful region.

Hidden Treasures is a weekly column on venetoinside dedicated to those who wish to learn about legends, secrets and mysteries of the hidden Venice and the Veneto region... Curated by Francesca – an expert tour guide from Venice Hidden Treasures wants to share the hidden treasures of Venice and Veneto through anecdotes, secrets, legends, mysteries and curiosities, a different and rarely discussed side of Venice, the Venetian lagoon and the Veneto region.

History and folklore, mysterious places and famous works of art, monuments and ancient traditions: our guide will open for you the doors to discover all the hidden secrets of Venice and Veneto! With an original series of stories, anecdotes and curiosities of Venice and its region, all based on a foundation of historical fact, week after week Francesca will reveal fascinating aspects of history, art, culture and the traditions of some incredible places.

Hidden Treasures is a real guide to the lesser-known Venice and Veneto to uncover the mysteries still hidden. Make yourself comfortable! Expect an exciting reading based on anecdotes, legends and hidden Venice secrets that will tantalize your curiosity even more about the city, the lagoon and its wonderful region.

The Hidden Treasures of Venice and curiosities column is also present on the Facebook page of venetoinside! In order not to miss any of the anecdotes that we publish every week, go to our page and click 'like' button!



The Castle of Catajo

Cities in the Italian Veneto region are full of history and fascinating monuments... But the countryside surrounding them reserves just as many surprises! We can find one example near Padua: the monumental Castle of Catajo, built by Pius Enea I Obizzi, whose family of Burgundian origins settled in Italy in 1007 with the ancestor Obicio I, a mercenary captain hired by the emperor Arrigo II. The castle construction work was entrusted to the architect Andrea da Valle who completed it in only three years, from 1570 to 1573 (excluding the upper part, which was added in the 19th century), giving it an appearance halfway between that of a military castle and a royal villa, undoubtedly by will of the family who had commissioned its construction. The name origin has been lost: it is believed not to come from ‘Catai’, the name used to refer to China in the Middle Ages, but rather that it refers to a 'Ca' Tajo, that is, ‘the seal of a digging’, possibly referring to the digging of the Battaglia Channel that cut in half many agricultural fields. In 1571 Obizzi commissioned Giovanni Battista Zelotti (collaborator of Paolo Veronese) to fresco the interior walls with the great deeds of his family. The last member of the Obizzi family died in 1803 and the castle passed into the hands of the archdeacons of Modena, Francesco V and his wife Adelgonda of Bavaria, who moved the court of the entire Estense family here, after having been exiled from Modena. With no heirs, Catajo passed to the Archduke of Austria, Francis Ferdinand. During these property transfers, the Armory and the Obizzi Museum, together with a large collection of musical instruments and paintings, ended up in several museums in Vienna. After First World War, Catajo passed in the hands of the Italian government as a repair of war damage and was subsequently sold to private owners. The beautiful Castle of Catajo is located in Battaglia Terme, at a short distance from Padua... Take advantage of your new gametour The mystery of the amulet and explore the castle with an original guided tour!

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