Villa Cattani Stuart is one of the most well-known historic houses in the province of Pesaro and Urbino and in the whole Marche.
The Villa, together with its amazing Italian Gardens, dates back to a period between the 1630 and the 1680 and it was projected and completed by Giacomo Cattani, Giuliano Cattani and Carlo Giuseppe Cattani. Who were the Cattani’s?
They were merchants from Stazzona, a little village at the slopes of the mountains, just behind Dongo, on the banks of the “high” side of the Como Lake.
Why was it built?
In the first place, to host the Cattani family in a house that could give prestige and honor to their name.
Secondly, to host the colonists in the neighboring lot, whose task was to cultivate the 10 hectares of lot that surrounds the Villa, on the green and fertile hills of Trebbiantico. These hectares also include an olive grove of over 200 plants and its olive oil mill.
Not to mention its function of casino and hunting place, activities considered at that time real social rituals.
The house carried out its task pretty well and it was the scene of two great love stories. The first one was between Pietro Cattani, heir to the family, and Laura Gabardini, descendant of one of the most high-profile families in Pesaro. From this love 7 baby girls and 2 baby boys were born. The second love story was between Carlo Giuseppe Cattani and Marta Muccioli, descendant of another of the richest and most powerful families in Pesaro. This was the proof that the Cattani’s played an important role in both social and economic life of the town. So important that the Pontifical Legate of Pesaro and Urbino, Alemanno Salviati, chosed Villa Cattani Stuart as his summer residence from 1717 to 1726, period in which the Villa reached its peak of splendor. Who were the Pontifical Legates?
They were the personal representatives of the Pope and of the Papal State on the territory, prefect, administrator and judge of the province.
For 9 years, Villa Cattani was at the center of the political, social and economical life in the province; it was also the place of diplomatic meetings between the Cardinal Salviati and the political and religious delegates coming from other provinces of Italy and from abroad.
One of these meetings proved to be particularly important. It was on the 6th October 1726 when the Cardinal Salviati decided to host in Villa Cattani James 3rd Stuart, the fourth son of James 2nd, the Catholic King of England sent away from the Protestant William of Orange. In Pesaro, for the first time, an heir to the throne of England, with his court of 80 people. James, along with his children, the last heirs to the Stuart’s, are now buried in the Vatican caves, in Saint Peter. A monument by Canova commemorates them.
After the death of Marianna Cattani, in 1802, the last heir to the Cattani family, who was married to the Marquis Giovanni Paolucci, the Villa will never come back in the hands of the family who named it. The story of the Paolucci family, who lived in the Villa, as well as the Bolis and Giungi families would deserve a chapter apart. For this, you will find a volume about the Villa in the hotel ready to be read. Are you curious? It is your chance to learn more about the history of the Villa, by visiting it and staying in it like ancient and noble guests.
Today it is the Tomassini-Guidi family who keep alive the architectural prestigious of the building and the precious harmony of the celebrated Italian gardens that surrounded it. Do you want to learn more about them? Click here.