- The Galleria Estense
- Museo Lapidario Estense
- Biblioteca Estense Universitaria di Modena
- The Pinacoteca Nazionale
- Palazzo Ducale
In 2015, THE Gallerie Estensi were identified as one of the 20 most important national museums of Italy and as a result became independent. The Gallerie Estensi includes five different institutions, which are linked by a common history: that of the Este family who ruled over Modena and Ferrara for many centuries.
The five institutions are located in Modena, Ferrara and Sassuolo.
The Galleria Estense of Modena houses the collection of the Este family. The Este moved from Ferrara to Modena in 1598. Here the collection decorated the Palazzo Ducale. After the unification of Italy and the exile of the ruling family the collection was assembled in the Palazzo dei Musei, today the hearth of the cultural life of the town.
The Pinacote of Ferrara was founded in 1836 with the aim to to recover and restore the artworks in danger of being dispersed after the abolition of religious insititutions during Napoleon’s reign. The museum is now located in Palazzo dei Diamanti, once a Este’s palace and one of the most significant examples of renaissance architecture.
The Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo, is a a wonderful baroque palace commissioned by Francesco I D’Este as a family vacation home.
The collections of Biblioteca Estense Universitaria comprise numerous noteworthy illuminated books and works of literary, historical and artistic interest that date back from the time of Marquis Niccolò III. The collection was further developed during the Renaissance by Leonello, Borso, Ercole and Alfonso, D’Este, who collected many important renaissance manuscripts and precious printed editions.
The Museo Lapidario, the first public museum in Modena, opened in 1828. Its creation was the result of the collaboration among civic and private donors. It too, like the Galleria and the Biblioteca is hosted in Palazzo dei Musei.