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Ferrara... on the water's edge

Water-Ferrara-Renaissance. The interplay of water, Ferrara and the Renaissance gave rise to countless stories which we will attempt to recount. Along the water



“The water is of such immensity and greatness to be almost unfathomable, and contained in three places: the bowels of the earth, upon it, and above the skies”. So wrote Giovan Battista Aleotti, the eminent hydraulic architect of Alfonso II d’Este, in his work, "Hidrologia" (Hydrology).


But the same greatness of the State ruled by the Este family was inextricably linked to the power of water, the emergence of the village on the island of San Giorgio, and to the splendours of the Renaissance court. Water was a vital element around which an entire civilisation was formed.

Controlled and contained through the efforts of man, who reclaimed and redirected the course of the great Po River, water would become a precious ally of the communities and states of the Po River Valley to ensure prosperity and economic development of the territory.

Travelled by convoys of merchant vessels and grand ceremonial barges alike, water was the preferred communication link for the men and women of the Renaissance, able to establish connections between principles, culture, manners, products and identity.

An integral part of the city’s fabric, used for both practical functions and social events, water was often transformed in backgrounds by the Este family for lavish ceremonies and princely entertainment as a means to express its power.

last modified Apr 11, 2023 04:56
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