the visit

A fascinating journey back in time to immerse yourself in a magical world of history, mystery, art and colors, to find yourself bewildered by the ancient splendors of one of the most important Italian royal palaces.

Catajo Castle is open to the public four afternoons a week, on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and on all holidays.

For groups or private visits it can be opened upon request, at any time and day of the year.

When open to the general public, visitors are provided with a tour guide (price included in the ticket), who will accompany the guests in the castle illustrating the characteristics of this historical dwelling.

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portale catajo

ENTRANCE AND COURTYARD OF THE GIANTS

The eighteenth century majestic gate leads to the Courtyard of the Giants. A courtyard often used for theatre performances, tournaments and naumachiae: the lawn, thanks to an ingenious plumbing system, could be completely flooded.

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ELEPHANT FOUNTAIN

In front of the entrance you can admire a fountain built on orders of Pio Enea II Degli Obizzi in the second half of the 17th century to sanction the bond between the Catajo Castle and the Orient. The fountain displays mythological features because of the presence of Bacchus and pure exoticism because of the statue of the elephant that gives the fountain its name. The elephant sculpture is one of only three of its kind to have been created in the 17th century in Italy, together with that of Bernini in Rome and the sculpture in Parco dei Mostri in Bomarzo.

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PIANO NOBILE

The unique external staircase that leads up to the piano nobile was designed to be suitable for a horse’s hooves. The main floor is covered in beautiful frescoes and features the genealogical tree of the Obizzi family, from the forefather Obicio I to Pio Enea I, who had the castle built. From the hall the tour takes the visitor to the state apartment, conceived to host lavish parties, entirely frescoed by Giovanni Battista Zelotti, disciple of Paolo Veronese and one of the major representatives of Venetian renaissance painting.

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FRESCOES

Zelotti’s pictorial cycle is one of the most complete, important and better preserved of its kind: it is one of the first examples of “self-congratulatory” art in north-eastern Italy. The fourty paintings depict the events and deeds of the Obizzi family, such as battles, weddings and tragic assassinations, and also feature allegories and garlands with cherubs and flowers in the ceilings and overdoors.

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THE GRAND TERRACE

A place for receptions and leisure, this terrace can be seen as an ‘open-air ballroom’, from which one can enjoy the dazzling view of the Euganean Hills and the gardens that surround the castle.
You walk down the inner winding staircase carved out of the hill’s living rock.

entrance

DELIZIE GARDEN

Attached to the castle lies a big garden that has borne witness to the various transformations of the castle over time. To this day there is still a fish farm surrounded by magnolias and a collection of citrus trees. The garden proudly conserves three of the most important trees in Europe: two magnificent eighteen century magnolias and a majestic giant sequoia, one of the first imported from America.

All year round various events and themed visits are organised for the public, including daytime/nighttime wine and food gatherings and ‘panoramic aperitifs’, special Sundays dedicated to children and, in the whole month of November, visits centered around the legend of the ghost of Lucrezia Obizzi.

Special attention is given to schools, offering a vast range of educational activities, including workshops and interactive visits.

Group visits at the castle

All the information