Estense Ducal Garden

Gardens in Modena

Palazzina Dei Giardini Pubblici
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Francesco Morelli

The Estense Ducal Garden, formerly known as the Public Gardens, finds its roots in 1598. It was in this year that Duke Cesare decided to fence off a vast, untamed land north of the Castle, transforming it into a garden. This transformation mirrored the popular Renaissance garden designs of the time.

By 1634, the garden saw the completion of the Vigarani building, a masterpiece that still reflects the quintessential characteristics of 17th-century architectural design. Following a period of nearly a century of neglect, the reign of Francesco III brought a renewed interest in the garden. Under his patronage, a botanical garden was cultivated, and the park’s inner framework underwent renovations. The mid-19th century witnessed significant modifications, resulting in a garden of dual character. Part of it boasts meticulously designed flowerbeds, echoing the grandeur of the surrounding ducal structures, while the rest is kept as dense woodland.

Today, the garden stands as a testament to its storied past. Its design is heavily influenced by its original layout, and the notable Vigarani building stands as a focal point from most vantage points within the park. The diversity and grandeur of the various tree species further accentuate the garden’s appeal.

The Estense Ducal Garden appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Modena!

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Visiting Estense Ducal Garden


Winter hours (from the end of October to mid-April) 7.00-20.30. Summer opening hours 6.30-23.30

Address: Palazzina dei Giardini, Corso Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour, Modena, Province of Modena, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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