The current appearance of the building takes shape from 1634, when the ancient and massive castle was turned into a ducal residence, a prestigious place to be used for summer holidays and as a venue for official representation of the court. The patronage of the reconstruction and decoration is up to Francis I d'Este, the duke, after the loss of Ferrara in 1598, created the new image of Modena state capital and reported on the European political scene the Este Duchy of Modena and Reggio Emilia.


The palace, also called "Delight" for its architecture embellished with fountains and surrounded by green spaces, for the beauty of the decorations in its environments and the successful inclusion in the wide valley of the Secchia, It is a jewel of Baroque culture from North Italy.

The rooms were painted by an 'extraordinary team of artists who well interpreted ambitious spirit and mecenatistico of Francis I, including the French Jean Boulanger, official painter of the Este court and some of the greatest painters of Bologna quadraturisti as Angelo Michele Colonna and Agostino Mitelli and a large number of skilled decorators and modellers, including Luca Colombi and Lattanzio Male. In the walls and ceilings of the rooms intertwine allegorical themes and episodes of the Este history, meet mythological heroes and classical literature and chivalry, all united to express the exciting program of the nobility and "good governance" Este. Illustrations are included in "quadrature": one of the most successful architectural evidence of deception. A carefully designed prospective effect and a surprising proliferation of virtual spaces that shows how high the passion for the ability of artificially imitating painting materials and nature.


In the grand palace complex, which also are part of the palace chapel dedicated to St. Francis and the magnificent Peschiera, They worked over the Roman architect Bartolomeo Avanzini, inspired in the structural renewal and baroque decorative solutions from the famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Also renowned designers, especially the cheese Gaspare Vigarani, Also active at the court of Louis XIV.

The recovery of the Palace, until now achieved thanks to an intense work of restoration and museum exhibition, allows full use of the area decorated the main floor. On the main floor is accessed by staircase D'Onor and you can visit 27 environments originally intended for family members, the Ducal Apartments: the Bacchus Gallery, the apartment of the Duke, the Guards' Hall, the stuccoed apartment, the apartment of the Duchess and, partly, ground floor, the Giants Apartment.

The Palazzo Ducale in Sassuolo belongs to the Ministry of Heritage and Culture Superintendence for the Historical, Anthropological Heritage for the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia


Between 2001 and the 2003 It was realized the first part of the larger project Contemporary, with the aim of enhancing the Palazzo Ducale through melting experience between "old and new" and events to learn about contemporary art themes. The apartment is plastered visible MONOCHROMANTIC LIGHT collection or the display of monochrome works created by American and European artists, Winston Roeth, Anne Appleby, Timothy Litzman, Lawrence Carroll, David Simpson, Phil Sims and Ettore Spalletti and accommodated in existing stucco frames in which there were the ancient paintings of the ducal collections, now for the most part lost. These monochrome paintings are an expression of the design line that distinguishes the art Minimal, They were in fact designed in close conceptual relationship with the symbolic theme and atmosphere of the rooms and made with a significant interaction with the architecture of the historic building, creating a happy and unrestrained dialogue between light, the color and the plastic forms of the gilded stucco. The 51 works have been specially commissioned for the stuccoed and donated apartment to the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities Giovanna and Giuseppe Panza and children.


The tunnel connects the private apartment of the Duke and introduces one originally intended for the accommodation of the Duchess. The decorative undertaking, started in 1650, It was created with the collaboration of at least seven artists with lackluster results by the universal language of art, the happy color mixtures and the lively interpretation of the narrative. The fake loggia or pergola. that is the structure of this long room, was designed by Agostino Mitelli but actually performed by quadraturisti Bolognese Gian Giacomo Monti and Baldassarre Bianchi. The refined Netting of plants and creepers, of floral garlands and compositions rich in fruit and grape waste it was painted by the Milanese Pier Francesco and Carlo Cittadini. The French painter Jean Boulanger, with the collaboration of Olivier Dauphin, The depicted Fantastic earthly and divine companies of Bacchus. The story of Bacchus, from birth to triumph, It is narrated in five monochrome panels, in six views in time, in sixteen league titles supported by satyrs and about fourteen fake wall tapestries.

Palazzo Ducale can be visited the Ducal APARTMENTS, the contemporary section Monochromatic Light in the Appartamento stuccoed, the exhibition 'A GUEST ILLUSTRE. The Estense Gallery in Sassuolo 'and also the exposure of the restored DOSSO shovel DOSSI the Galleria Estense of the Madonna and Child with Saints.

The Ducal Palace online:

The Palazzo Ducale on the website of the Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Tourism Activities

The Palazzo Ducale in Sassuolo on Wikipedia

Opening hours of the Palazzo Ducale in Sassuolo

from 2 January to 25 March 2016 and from 7 November to 30 December 2016

Opening for groups from Tuesday to Sunday (min 15 e max 25 persons per group)

from 9:00 at 18:00 - Reservations required by URP.

from 26 March 6 November 2016

Open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 at 13:00 and the hour 15:00 at 19:00.

How to visit: accompanied. Last admission one hour before closing.

CLOSED: 25, 26 e 31 December

Price Admission:

full: 4 EUR - Reduced: 2 euro – Free the first Sunday of every month and every other day for those eligible.

Last entry half hour before closing

Schools and groups

groups: min 15-max 25 people

Service of guided tours by appointment

For information and reservations

URP - Public Relations Office of the Municipality of Sassuolo

Piazza Garibaldi 56 Sassuolo (MO)

tel 0536/880801 –


Galleria Estense Modena piazza S. Agostino 337, Modena

tel: 059.4395711 – fax: 059.230196 –