Galvani Gardens

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Galvani Gardens

The hanging garden of the Galvani house is located on Via Soli on the walls encircled the old castle of Vignola on the northern side.

Its construction dates back to the start of the 15th Century when the Galvani noble family moved from Ferrara to settle in Vignola, following the new feudal lords of the territory, the Contrari family.

The garden was originally a kitchen garden and is in fact documented as an herb and vegetable garden. It fits snugly within the defensive system of the castle and is emblematic of the military architecture of Este. It fulfilled the need for amusement on the part of the owners, amoenitas, as well as serving as a military defence, utilitas, for the whole community.

From 1807-1810, the garden was transformed into a sophisticated Neoclassical style enclosure at the behest of Count Giuseppe Galvani. In this period, the garden assumed its current orthogonal plan in the Italian-style and is characterised by the presence of ornamental and medicinal plants and interspersed with cabinets-verts, a Kaffeehaus, panoramic walk, a “Teatro di Verzura” (“foliage theatre”), botanical collections and a viewpoint with telescope, all enclosed within a beautiful veil of foliage that can be seen from the street below. The architect responsible for the design of this splendid garden was, of course, an architect of the school of Francesco Maria Soli, who worked for the family from Este, serving Duca Ercole III and Francesco IV d'Austria d'Este, whose court sojourned often in this garden during the summer months.

The garden incorporates, in its perimeter, the defensive tower commissioned and paid for by the Galvani family upon their arrival at Vignola and was transformed into a beautiful dovecote in 1775. The garden is also connected to the family dwelling by way of a bridge which is also in the beautiful Neoclassical style.

The Galvani family then sold the garden to the Podestà Giuseppe Pradelli. At the start of the 1900s, it was owned by Giovanna Ghibelli, mother of the composer, Luigi Gazzotti.

Today, the garden has private owners, who have maintained the Neoclassical appearance given to the garden in the 19th Century.

Open to the public on special occasions but visible from Via Soli as well as Corso Italia.

The Tower of an ancient family and a neoclassical garden
  • buildings historic interest

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