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The MEIS National Museum of Italian Jewry and the Holocaust Since 2009, the Ministry for Heritage and Cultural Activities, the Superintendence for Architectural Heritage, the City of Ferrara and MEIS Foundation have been working towards the realization of the meis, Museo Nazionale dell'Ebraismo Italiano e della Shoah (the National Museum of Italian Jewry and the Holocaust). Established by Act of Parliament No. 296 in 2006, in order to bear witness to the constant and widespread presence of the Jewish community on Italian territory,
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A reading and comment Truth and Memory in the last work of Aron Leoni Aron Leoni (1932-2010), son of Leone Leoni, chief rabbi of Ferrara and Venice, and Gemma Ravenna Leoni, inherited his passion for Jewish culture from his parents. He had a degree in agronomy and became director of the "Vita Mayer Corporation", also representing the Italian paper industry at the European Parliament in Brussels. On his retirement he totally dedicated himself to the study of the history and culture of the Sephardic diaspora,
Franco patruno: writing art, living art The Foundation publishes an anthology of his writings for «L'Osservatore Romano» Four years after the death of the author, Equivalenze, o dello scrivere l'arte. Scritti per «L'Osservatore Romano» (Equivalences, or writing on art. Articles for «L'Osservatore Romano») a collection of work by Father Franco Patruno has been published. Edited by Massimo Marchetti, the anthology – which covers ten years of his contributions to «L'Osservatore»

The Este residences in Ferrara

Written by  Marco Borella

A monumental system of international importance

The map of the “delizie” at the end of the sixteenth century reconstruction from the Atlas of Ferrara by Alberto Penna with the positioning of the 29 Este residencesThe Este family residences in the province of Ferrara constitute a monumental accomplishment, result of the policy of transformation of the area undertaken by the Este dynasty during their rule over the city, from the fourteenth century to devolution in 1598, and the subsequent reallocation of their state capital to Modena.

Better known as the "delizie" (delights), the name is derived from the symbolic con- notation that the buildings have assumed, thanks to the spirit of grandeur that the Este court cultivated. Ferrara castle, the Schifanoia palace, the Belriguardo palace and Mesola Castle, among the best maintained, together with the Benvignante palace and the Mensa and Verginese villas, form a map that shows us the territorial power of the Este family at the height of their period of influence.Palazzo di Belriguardo (Voghiera)

When the Estes came to Ferrara the city was already a strategic centre on key trade and communication routes but it was surrounded by insalubrious marshes. In the first half of the fifteenth century the only activity that enriched the state was agricultural production, and for this reason an intense and effective land reclamation procedure was initiated.

The primary effect was the transformation of the landscape; the marshland and wooded areas were gradually drained and structured to eventually Palazzo di Fossadalberobecome productive farmlands. However, many of the new agricultural lands were created not only as technically efficient farms, but these sites were "interpreted" in the same manner as the Este urban possessions. So not only farms were built, but architecturally sophisticated buildings with artistic decoration of the first order were created as an appropriate backdrop to life at court for holidays, entertainment and hunting. A unique landscape, organized and redesigned as a representation of the ability of their government. In this context the "delights" were a part of the city, set in a unique cultural landscape that expanded from the urban centre towards the sea.

After centuries The current map of the “delizie” included in the World Heritage Listof neglect the Este residences are all that remain of the artistic setting that, between the XV and XVI centuries, delineated the "antique" Po Delta. Since 1999, when Unesco included the "delights" in the World Heritage List, it has become clear that if an area needs to be promot- ed, a process of recognition and awareness must be initiated in order to reconstruct the identity of the locations and their inhabitants.Palazzo di Benvignante

The "delights", set in a vast territory of over 46,000 hectares, provide an important opportunity for the recovery of historical knowledge, and an even greater possibility to create a site of enormous promotional value.Villa della Mensa

Presenting them in this manner, as a series of monuments, like the justifiably more famous Venetian villas, offers an opportunity to further develop this potential, especially after the area's inclusion in the World Heritage List. Palazzo della DiamantinaA heritage of monuments scattered throughout the province, as an expansion of the site: "Ferrara city of the Renaissance and the Po Delta", would strengthen and increase the attractiveness of each monument concerned, establish tourist routes of great interest for the future development of the territory.

At present the province of Ferrara, the city of Ferrara, the Emilia Romagna Region, the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Culture and the Po Delta Park, on the basis of an institutional agreement signed in 2005 by the all municipalities of the province, have drawn up a Unesco Site Management Plan, which provides the first steps towards a process of knowledge, protection, awareness and appreciation of the cultural landscape of Ferrara which cannot fail to include strong support for the monumental work of the "Delizie Estensi".Castello di MesolaPalazzo del VerginesePalazzo di Belriguardo (Voghiera)

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