Battaglia - Villa del Catajo
The town of Battaglia is located in north-east Italy, about fifteen kilometres south of the city of Padua. The Villa, or Castello, di Catajo 1 is located on a hill just north of the town.
In 1805 the Marchese Tommaso Obizzi (last of his line) left the villa in his will to Duke Francis IV of Modena (husband of Queen Mary III and II). 2 Until 1859 the Royal Family were in the habit of spending part of their summers at the villa. On the walls of the room on the first floor of the villa dedicated to the House of Este, can be seen pen marks which record the changing height of Queen Mary each year. 3 Queen Mary III and II died here in 1840.
King Francis I visited the villa for the last time July 2, 1859, as his armies retreated from Modena. 4 At his death in 1875, Francis left the villa to the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand of Austria. 5 In a codicil to his will Francis made a bequest to the chapel of the villa for three masses to be said for his benefit each year. 6
The villa and its park are open to the public (charge L10,000) Tuesdays from 3.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. in summer (April to August) and from 2.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. in winter (March, September to November).
Website: www.castellodelcatajo.it. Telephone: 39.049.9100411.
1 In many older works the name of the villa is spelt "Cattaio".
2 "Il Castello", http://www.castellodelcatajo.it/it/it_main.htm.
3 Elena Bianchini Braglia, Maria Beatrice Vittoria: Rivoluzione e Risorgimento tra Estensi e Savoia (Modena: Edizioni Terra e Identità, 2005), 79.
4 "Memorie di quanto disposi, vidi ed udii dall'11 giugno al 12 luglio 1859", edited by Giuseppe Orlandi (Modena: Aedes Muratoriana, 1981), 103-104.
5 "Il Castello", http://www.castellodelcatajo.it/it/it_main.htm. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand left the villa to his nephew, the Archduke Karl (later Emperor Karl I of Austria). After World War I the villa was confiscated by the Italian government as war reparations and then sold in 1929 to the Della Francesca family who still own it today.
6 Teodoro Bayard de Volo, Vita di Francesco V, Duca di Modena, 1819-1875 (Roma: Spithover, 1878), III, 635.