Delizia Estense del Verginese
An ancient leisure residence of the d'Este family, recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, the Delizia Estense del Verginese is today one of the few Delizia that bear witness to the grandeur and importance of the lords of Ferrara. Gifted by Alfonso I d'Este to Laura Dianti - Alfonso I d'Este's mistress after the death of his wife Lucrezia Borgia - the Delizia takes the form of a small castle adorned with battlements and surrounded by a magnificent garden, the Brolo. A
reconstruction of the ancient productive garden that surrounded the villa and which bore fruit from spring to autumn, the Brolo provides an insight into the way of life during the Renaissance.
Strolling along the tree-lined avenues, surrounded by pomegranate, pear, apple and hazelnut trees, one can admire the geometric perfection of the symmetries, with a few ornamental flowerbeds embellished with rose bushes and open spaces of flowering meadows.
The garden is surrounded by a "v vite maritata", re-proposing the ancient planting of lowland vines.The presence of the dovecote tower at the end of the garden had many reasons for its existence. It was in fact the watchtower and the place where the homing pigeons, responsible for communication, lived and reproduced.
Two permanent exhibitions can be admired inside the Delizia: "Mors Inmatura", an exhibition of archaeological finds from Roman times from a small Roman necropolis a few steps from the Delizia that recounts the history, daily life and economic activities of a family in this corner of the Roman Empire; and an exhibition of works by Mario Maranini dedicated to rural civilisation.
Next to the castle is the Vinaia del Sapere (Wine Cellar of Knowledge), once a drying room, recently renovated and used for exhibitions, meetings and cultural activities.