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During the Renaissance, Ferrara was ruled by the Este family, from their palazzo of Belriguardo. In 1506, the Assassin Ezio Auditore traveled to Belriguardo to confront Lucrezia Borgia, the Duchess of Ferrara at the time, and retook the paintings stolen by her after the Fall of Monteriggioni. Ultimately, he recovered Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation.
- Girolamo Savonarola was born in Ferrara.