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The Palace of the crossed destinies and a club neither young nor old Magagnini-Roverella Palace and Merchants Club: a piece of the history of Ferrara A few days before the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy the 'Casino dei Negozianti' (Merchants Club) was founded in Ferrara: it was February 26th, 1861.  With the return to freedom following the plebiscite of 1860, Ferrara had expressed its adherence to the constitutional monarchy and began to seriously reflect on
Serafino Monini Ferrara and a leading engineer during extraordinary years The city of Ferrara made a qualitative leap forward in the early seventies and has since become known throughout the world. Certain moments of this process are extremely important: the imposition of limited and rigorous planning permission within the city centre since 1978;
“L’Isola del Tesoro” and “Estatebambini” Family Centres: avant-garde experiences in Ferrara In the summer of 1997, after several years devoted to the restoration of the city's nineteen- thirties monumental aqueduct, the Piazza xxiv Maggio centre opened as the new headquarters of two municipal services: the Family Centre and the Parent and Children Centre "L'Isola del Tesoro", an avant-garde experience which the city of Ferrara can certainly be proud of.
Culture and Business Towards a new model of "Ferrara city of art" Since the late eighties, Ferrara has been launched both nationally and internationally as a "city of art". This was an intelligent and forward-looking strategy in what has proved to be a period of particular economic difficulty for our area.
The Jewish cemetery in the Sesto di San Romano A new piece in the mosaic of the history of Ferrara and its Jewish Community I had just published an essay in which I lamented the lack of an updated and scientific study on Jewish cemeteries in Ferrara, when I was shown a deed from the State Archives of Modena inherent to the burial place used by the Jews in 1335.

Omens and considerations about Ferrara in the future

Written by  Roberto Pazzi

Who will be entrusted with the future of the city?

View of Ferrara from the bank of the Po (Pontelagoscuro)After having dedicated a few novels to Ferrara, the city where I have always lived, I feel as though I could qualify as a possible witness to the quality of life here. Equipped with a certain experience as how to interpret its secret identity, I try to imagine how the city will evolve when I will no longer be walking the "flat streets / wide as streams". I say this with particular conviction after a journey that led me further away from home, on the Trans-Siberian Railway. An adventure between taiga and vast forests, crossing endless plains from Moscow to Lake Baikal. Just as a long journey nourishes the passion for a return home, "True paradises are those that are lost". I must begin with this preamble, before venturing into the future of a city that always gives me the most incomparable pleasure to return to. Ferrara is my home. Its streets are my rooms. Its squares are my living room. Its people are my family. I never feel alone in Ferrara. But where is Ferrara going in the third millennium? As the city struggles to live-up to its destiny as the city of art and culture that has earned the coveted UNESCO recognition as a World Heritage Site. Struggling because of the serious crisis that the Bel Paese is undergoing. A poor historical period for us, without statesmen of adequate rank. But even on a local level; where are yesterday's great administrators who made the fortune of the city after unification, such as Carlo Mayr, Pietro Niccolini and the honest Jewish commissioner, Renzo Ravenna? It is with great nostalgia we remember the initiatives of true cultural patronage promoted by the Carife Foundation, such as the collection of more than thirty books of art, exhibitions organized by Andrea Emiliani, the lecturae Dantis in the cathedral, the purchase of the historic Sacrati Strozzi collection and the restoration of the church of San Cristoforo. On the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Savings Bank, in 1988, I wrote that, as a result of its cultural patronage, the Ferrara bank could be considered as the true heir of the House of Este. The moment has passed when Ferrara was comparable to the dignity of a small Salzburg, with its wealth of cultural events, music, Abbado, Buskers and art, with the invention of exhibitions in the Palazzo dei Diamanti by Franco Farina. And I should also mention the literary conference A narrow street in the medieval city: Vicolo Mozzo Torcicoda'"Immaginario contemporaneo" that I created in 1999. The city then began a silent decline: because of things or people? In human fate Machiavellian luck can account for half, and the virtue of men can only counteract adverse fortune to a certain extent. Just reconsider the sublime detail of Francesco del Cossa's frescoes, at the Palazzo Schifanoia, the fearless cavalcade of Borso d'Este and his courtiers towards emptiness and nothing... Is it possible that we can see the future of the city in that inescapable drive towards the end, foreseen by court astrologers such as Pellegrino Prisciani? Or is it a metaphor of universal transience. Occasionally, like the many who have always voted, I ask myself if it could have been the irremovability of the local political formula that has inclined the people in Ferrara towards the fatalistic syndrome of Oblomov. But who can take the city into hand? There is no Mario Monti in a Ferrara format on the civic horizon... And confused and unquestioning support of the right or left does not bode well for the future. I observe the young, trying to explore in their discomfort. I have listened to one of the most active and restless, Giacomo Marighelli, who composes songs and has already made recordings. He complains that in Ferrara there is nothing to do, there are no places to meet and that minds are as closed as the city walls. Similar feelings are shown by the city's best young poet, Matteo Bianchi, the inspired author of "Fischi di merli". All this is familiar to me. I have a young high-school nephew totally concentrated on the composition of his anarchist rap. The common ground of these experiences is the refuge in creativity and indifference to the cultural past of Ferrara. Because their creativity is not inspired by Ferrara's great painters and writers, nor its directors. I am also increasingly convinced that the real disease is the humiliating background of this latest period in our country's history, and not the fatalism of the people of Ferrara. Our cultural climate, however, also offers rare examples of civilization, an educated cultural tourism, demanding and elitist, favoured by the preserved monumental beauty of the city. Our streets aren't inhabited by the frenetic, crazy worker ants of Parma, Modena or Bologna, on the Via Emilia's axis of economic development, from which we were excluded and that today leaves us free from that particular dying economic model. Life slows down in Ferrara, reduced to lower parameters of consumption than our sister Po Valley towns, but it saves us from becoming slightly more monstrous and it shows us that we should not live to work, but work to live.