The ‘Palazzina’ of the Ducal Gardens is an elegant background to the north side of Corso Canal Grande°°. The great Duke Francesco I awarded the project to the court architect Gaspare Vigarani in 1634. He planned a central part with a cupola, tympanums, statues of Roman emperor and a big sundial.
In the second half of the XVIII century the lateral wings were added by Pietro Bezzi and French parterres were laid out in front of the building. The interior, formely used by the Estense Court for recreation, was painted in the XIX century by Ferdinando Manzini, and it is now occupied by contemporary art exhibitions organized by the Galleria Civica.
In 1758, the Duke Francesco III wanted to create botanical gardens in the oriental part of the ducal gardens to cultivate rare and medicinal plants. In the first part of the XIX century, under Francesco IV, wonderful greenhouses were built (the University now sees to the work in). Every plant is obviously classified, each tree with its own ticket of information: it is very pleasant to have a walk among them, over the artificial hill.