5 places to discover Este spirituality

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5 places to discover Este spirituality

Ferrara is a city shaped between the water and the Renaissance, a period when it became one of the most important cultural centres in Italy.

The main square, Piazza Trento e Trieste, is overlooked by the imposing Duomo dedicated to San Giorgio. The Cathedral, built from the 12th century onwards, bears the signs of all the historical periods the city went through, including the splendour of the Renaissance, hinted at by the unfinished bell tower designed by Leon Battista Alberti.

The Renaissance was a period of maximum splendour for Ferrara in which the good governance of the Este family led to considerable social and cultural development.

Among the needs of the Este family, in addition to cultivating worldly and cultural life, was to provide space for spirituality. Even today, traces of the city's Renaissance grandeur can be found inside Ferrara's religious buildings.

Would you like to discover the main places of Este spirituality in Ferrara with us?

Sant’antonio in polesine

Sant’Antonio in Polesine was the first female monastery in the Este city, created to welcome Beatrice d'Este, daughter of Marquis Azzo VII Novello d'Este, and the young women who, like her, wished to follow the Benedictine rule.

Since then, this convent has always been protected and patronised by the Este family: in fact, in addition to the attentions of popes and bishops, there were also numerous donations as dowries or testamentary legacies.

Sant'Antonio in Polesine is the oldest monastery in Ferrara in terms of continuity of life. In fact, it is still today the seat of the Benedictine women's community, which has been residing here since 8 February 1257.

Ferrara Sant Antonio in Polesine 2

Piazza municipale

Where the Sala Estense, the aforementioned city theatre overlooking the Piazza, stands today, there used to be the Court Chapel: here, the bodies of members of the ducal household were displayed on the occasion of their deaths. The somewhat 'exhibitionist' vocation of the area was followed by the Sala Estense, but also by the Piazza Municipale itself. Thanks to its particular shape, the Piazza is the perfect place in which to hold events such as wine tastings, book presentations, conferences and small concerts, but also some competitions between contrade that are part of the programme of events associated with the city's Palio.

Ferrara Piazza Municipale

Santa Maria in Vado

The church was rebuilt in 1495 to a design by the famous architect Biagio Rossetti, who led the work together with the painter Ercole de' Roberti and the master builder Bartolomeo Tristano. The shrine that still houses the vault where signs of the miracle are visible dates back to 1594.

If you are looking for a place that will make you dream as soon as you cross the threshold into Ferrara, we can tell you without fear of making a mistake to visit the Church of Santa Maria in Vado.

This church is one of the focal points of Ferrara art, in which you will find elements of fundamental representation of 17th century painting in Emilia. A church rich in splendid details, set in the city's ancient mediaeval streets, a stone's throw from the Schifanoia Museum.

Inside you will also find magnificent works by Carlo Bononi, Ercole de' Roberti, Camillo Filippi and Domenico Mona.

Ferrara Santa Maria in Vado

Monastero del Corpus domini

A place repository of centuries of history and tradition. To welcome you to this surprising monastery you will still find the cloistered Poor Clares, who are responsible for guarding some of the most important testimonies of the Ferrarese Renaissance. A visit to the inner church is a touching experience both for the uncorrupted atmosphere and for the presence of the frescoes of the Giotto school, painted between the end of the 13th century and the middle of the 14th century.

Ferrara Corpus Domini

Ferrara Corpus Domini

Certosa Monumentale di Ferrara

The Certosa Monumentale di Ferrara is a veritable open-air museum, where local and national history intersects with the most beautiful works of funerary art.

The history of this monumental cemetery dates back to the heyday of the Este family: planned as a Carthusian monastery in 1452 at the behest of Duke Borso d'Este, it was later enlarged by Biagio Rossetti, who included it in the Addizione Erculea, his project to expand the city.

Inside the Carthusian Monastery you will find wrapped in an atmosphere of delicate recollection, the memories of the past through the personalities resting there. A visit into the deepest folds of the history of Ferrara's sculpture, architecture and town planning.

Ferrara San Cristoforo Certosa

Ferrara Certosa

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