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Ducato Estense - New Project from Italian Ministry of Culture

Ducato Estense

A new innovative cultural tourism project – promoted, financed and coordinated by the Italian Ministry of Culture – has been officially presented.

The new project - Ducato Estense; first launched in 2016, aimed at enhancing the area between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany’s Garfagnana, i.e. the provinces of Ferrara, Modena, Reggio Emilia and Lucca (in other terms, the parts of Emilia and Tuscany linking north to central Italy), is part of the “One billion for Culture” funding and makes use of 70 million euros from the 2014-2020 Development and Cohesion Fund allocated by the Italian Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning and Sustainable Development. The initiative, involving the restoration and redevelopment of some of the most gorgeous architectures of the Este era, partly completed to date, is now deepening the awareness and the promotion of the territories.

Ducato Estense is meant to focus on both culture and tourism. As for culture, it aims to lead people through the stories of the Este family thanks to the extraordinary testimonies of art and architecture scattered between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany’s Garfagnana, as well as to explain how the Este legacy is still relevant in the Italian culture and how many aspects of the local societies have their roots there.



As for tourism, it will propose thematic itineraries connecting the Este places in a new and fascinating way, which will trigger exciting and educational experiences. It will furthermore give access to information on places, itineraries and events thanks to a tailored interactive and cartographic platform including information for each place, historical-artistic insights, photos, images and videos. As many as seven itineraries will be proposed at first, dedicated to fine art, architecture, environmental and landscape heritage, products.

The website, the app and the hubs will contain all the insights into both the stories and the architectural and artistic heritage, with useful information and indications for accessibility, traffic and recommended routes.



The coordination

The coordination of the project has been entrusted to the Regional Secretariat for Emilia-Romagna, a territorial institute of the Ministry of Culture, in synergy with the Regional Secretariat for Tuscany and in collaboration with other peripheral bodies of the Ministry. In the initial phase, the University of Bologna, the Office for Tourism of Emilia-Romagna as well as companies and professionals specializing in communication were involved too. In the current phase, the new technological partners are Centounopercento, DM Cultura and Pixell.

The first events

Ducato Estense was introduced to a wide audience on Monday 16 May at the Art and Restoration Exhibition in Florence with a conference by the Regional Secretariat for Tuscany of the Ministry of Culture, participated by executives, public officers, mayors and representatives of the above mentioned tech companies. 

On the occasion of the International Exhibition of Cultural and Environmental Heritage in Ferrara (8-10 June), Ducato Estense will have a dedicated space inside the Ministry stand, and on 8 June, during the conference that will discuss the work in progress, the new logo and communication strategy will be proposed again.

In January 2023, a launch event will present a preview of the integrated communication campaign with a special focus on both the website and the elements characterizing the destination and its experiences.


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