There are priviledge observatories that grant us unexpected places of noble and sumptuous beauty that we would have never thought to discover, especially in a town known around the world for its industrial district dedicated to the production of ceramic tiles.
We are in Sassuolo, land that lies in between the plains and the first gentle slopes of the Appennines in Modena. What once was a “big red-roofed town”, with a strong agricultural vocation, today appears to be dotted with big factories with high-sounding names, that, in this strip of the province of Modena, were able to create an important reign built on technologies linked to the ceramic materials and industrial automations.
The strong futuristic imprint hasn’t, however, extirpeted the glorious history of this town, that we find weel kept in its historic city center. The observatory that we have mentioned before and that makes the locals very proud, is the magnificent Palazzo Ducale that you can see rising in all its grandeur as soon as you arrive in the city center, more accurately in Piazza Martiri corner Via Rocca.
A wide road made of pebbles will open in front of you that will take you directly to the noble building. You have to know that what we can see today is the architectural evolution of a place that, in its past, has seen many transformations of use. Its current appearance came together through the expressed desire of Duke Francesco I d’Este, that in 1634 instructs architect Bartolomeo Avanzini to transform the ancient family castle into a modern country residence for the court.
Once you have climbed the big staircase of the entrance that will lead you to the rooms of the palace, you’ll be welcomed by wall paintings, stucco decorations, and sculptures that will be able to move you to such an extent since you never tought you would find treasures of such artistic beauty. Every corner is decorated with the skills and dedication of the artists of the past that have contributed to make Palazzo Ducale a palace that recalls enviroments with theatrical character.
You will see large rooms where your gaze will be captured by the trompe d’oeil of the doors and windows, or faux terraces and balustrades filled with fruit baskets and colorful flowers wreaths.
You will find the Italian artistic knowledge of Pier Francesco and Carlo Cittadini edged to many more extraordinary creations by Jean Boulanger. The Bolognese frescoes Angelo Michele Colonna and Agostino Mitelli are also present.
Given both the historical and cultural wealth of the palace, you can either decide to plan your visit with an expert guide or you can let yourself be carried away by uncommon feelings that will rise thanks to this majestic building.
A delight that remained hidden for a certain period of time, little known even to us locals. Today it lives and dialogues to the contemporary world and the exibitions organized in the palace through the year are a testament to this.
Until September 17 the Palazzo Ducale will be featuring eight large-scale photos by the American artist Lawrence Beck dedicated to Italian gardens.