The Palazzo dei conti Panigai-Ovio located right in the center of Panigai, a hamlet of Pravisdomini. The current building, whose first nucleus was built in the sixteenth century, was transformed around 1750 on the project of the architect Piero Checchia, author of the first La Fenice theater.
Palazzo Panigai Ovio History
Currently the complex is characterized by a central three-storey body surmounted by a tympanum, like most Venetian villas, and by two side wings. The right wing has remained unfinished and retains its original late Renaissance appearance, furthermore on the ground floor there is a period kitchen with a built-in counter. Inside there are eighteenth century frescoes and all the furnishings have been kept intact by the family, along with objects and cards belonging to some ancestors. Precisely this care in preserving family objects makes the building very special and gives it a very suggestive atmosphere. Passing outside the garden retains a touch of romance, especially the back side on the bank of the Sile.
The building presumably stands on the site of the ancient castle of Panigai, also because of its strategic position near the river. The castle was probably built between the eleventh and twelfth centuries to defend the western borders of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, rendered insecure by the raids of the lords of the Marca Trevigiana. At the beginning of the 16th century the castle had to be in a state of advanced decay, perhaps for concomitant reasons such as the Turkish invasions and the violent earthquake that struck Friuli in 1511. Panigai with time acquired a wide territory, included between Motta di Livenza , Chions and Panigai, as evidenced by the substantial family archive kept at the State Archives of Udine (which according to the guide counts as many as 300 folders). The toponym Panigai, which to say the truth at first hearing may seem unusual, probably derives from the "panic", a graminace similar to the millet whose ear is on the emblem of both branches of the family.
Among the prominent figures of the Panigai family we can remember Falcomario, son of Arctic of Panigai, elected Patriarch of Aquileia in 1219 and pre 'Bortolo of Panigai, Jesuit, scientist and geographer of the king of Portugal, on whose behalf, in the second half of Eighteenth century, he traced the boundaries between the Portuguese and Spanish possessions in Latin America.