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Database: Delizia di Belriguardo

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Built in 1435 by Niccolò III d'Este as a summer home, Belriguardo was continuously added to until it became one of the most celebrated places in Italy. It featured stabling for five hundred horses, secret passages, stately corridors, marble loggias, box-lined gardens and a chapel painted by Cosimo Tura. And if that isn't enough to spark your interest, it contained a succession of vast frescoed halls, leading to Sala di Psiche with its renowned series of murals detailing the Roman myths. To quote an awed visitor: "Seeing this beautiful palace with its glazed and iron-grilled windows, I should think that a circuit of the place would be more than a mile."

Of course, all good things must come to an end, while all bad things, like aging pop divas and 70s style, are seemingly never-ending. In 1598, the Este family left, and Belriguardo became a stable, with horses living in the frescoed rooms.

Today, little remains of the palace.

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