[Rocca di Vignola. Photo credit: Sogno o son deste.]
In the past, when the powerful Este dynasty ruled the duchies of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio in Emilia-Romagna, the palaces and castles they owned were decorated with precious paintings even on the outside, especially in order to convey political messages and to celebrate the history of the family, who dominated the area for almost six centuries, from the 1200s to the mid-1800s.
This summer, and until December, it will be possible to see three of the Este properties as they once were, with their decorations, stories and painted drawings, thanks to the project ‘Sogno o son deste’: digital light projections will showcase the visual culture of the time on the following buildings:
- The 15th-century Rocca di Vignola, a military fortress and noble residence, worth a visit also inside for the several frescoed rooms, including the late Gothic masterpieces in the Uguccione Chapel;
- The Church of Sant'Agostino in Modena, erected in 1338 and transformed, between 1669 and 1670, into the Pantheon of the dukes and duchesses of Este, when it was decorated with sumptuous stucco work and paintings that gave it a Baroque style.
- Casa Romei in Ferrara, a magnificent example of a noble residence of the Renaissance, with a beautiful late Gothic courtyard, flowered decorations and grotesques.
The event inaugurates on July 13 in Vignola (province of Modena), while Modena and Ferrara will be presented in Septmber and October respectively. There will also be a series of conferences.
The idea is to extend the project to other historic buildings as well.
Emilia-Romagna earned the top spot on Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe 2018 list.