Very old Genoese, aristocratic family descendung from the Della Volta, one of the first families of the Viscontis, who settled in Genoa.
Outstanding family of the consular aristocracy, produced to the Commune, starting from yhe XI century, various Consuls, Senior Citizens, Archbishops and other civil and military positions that emerged in tasks and historical feats.
They distinguished themselves in the Crusades, in the wars aganist the Pisani, in the conflicts at Cyprus and in the whole Mediterranean Sea and they obtained, in the XIV century, from the Emperor Andreonico, the ownershipof the Focide in the Eastern Empire. They replaced the feudal traditions with trading activities, which marked and favoured thei fortune in the following centuries.
The Della Volta together with the Mollone, Marchiono, Bustarini, Stangoni, formed a House that was named Cattaneo in 1309.
They owned in town the quarter adjacent the San Torpete old church, up to the "Cattanei Bridge" (CALATA CATTANEI) at the harbour. In the XIV century they very active in trading all over the Mediterranean Sea with England and the Flanders, at Bruges first and then in Antwerp, where they were as well present in the financial field.
In the reform of 1528 they were apponted heads of one of the 28 Houses where it was ordained thr Patriciate of the Republic of Genoa to which they gave, in the following centuries, five two-year Dogi: Oberto, Leonardo, Giovan Battista, Nicolò e Cesare and many Senators. In 1643, with Domenico Cattaneo Della Volta, part of the Genoese family moved to Naples, where it grew richer with feuds and titles among which the Principakity of San Nicandro. Another branch of the Cattaneo Della Volta, in the person of Lorenzo, was invested by the Dike of Mantova, Marquis of Monferrato, with the Feud of Belforte and a high office of Marquis.
At the beginning of the XX century a branch of this family took the surname of Cattaneo Adorno due to the extinction, in the same family, of the historical Adorno House.