Consortium for the protection of the historical castles of Friuli Venezia Giulia
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Palazzo Fortificato Steffaneo Roncato di Crauglio (S.Vito al T.)

View of the fortified structure
View of the fortified structure

 The Steffaneo family has always been linked to the House of Austria. For this reason, when war broke out between Austria and Venice in 1615, Nicolo I Steffaneo took refuge in the fortress of Gradisca and helped the Austrian troops. The Archdukes, grateful for the troops' provisioning work, gave the Steffaneo family the building area of Crauglio, owned by the Patriarchate of Aquileia, and naturally gave them the title of Barons. In 1640, construction began on the Palazzo, although the date is not certified, an imposing building listed among the Ville Venete for its architectural and masonry features. Towards the first half of the 19th century, liberal thought and national consciousness did not take long to take hold in the Steffaneo family. They, despite their past loyalty to Austria, had three males militating in the wars of independence in the 'Friulian Legion'. The various vicissitudes of the Steffaneo family ended in 1890 when the last two sons died, one without offspring and the other with a daughter, Marianna. The latter married Vincenzo Pinzani and their children squandered all the family property including the palace in Crauglio, which was sold to Roncato Antonio in 1925, a Veneto landowner and his descendants are still the owners. During World War I, the Villa was turned into a military hospital and accommodation for the soldiers of the 3rd Army commanded by Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy. The poet Gabriele D'Annunzio also stayed here for a period of time during the conflict, and this is evidenced by a charcoal pencil he autographed in the villa. During the Second World War, the villa was occupied by the British and the garden became an Indian camp. These occupations caused quite a few problems for the house: many rooms were whitewashed losing some original paintings, others were defaced. For example, the Venetian terrazzo floor of the ballroom was ruined by the spiked shoes of the British who enjoyed slipping in here, smearing its walls with beer splashes.