Together with Ludovico Ariosto, who was born in Reggio-Emilia but then moved to Ferrara, Matteo Maria Boiardo (major work: Orlando Innamorato - Orlando in Love) was one of the most important exponents of the Italian Romance of the late fifteenth century. He was of noble lineage, ranking as Count of Scandiano, and lived in an elegant Renaissance fortress.
He was born in a room on the first floor, while the vaults of the palace were the favourite place of the illustrious scientist Lazzaro Spallanzani, who performed his experiments there some centuries later. In the sixteenth century, the ancient fortress was turned into a sumptuous palace that made Scandiano one of the most important Renaissance courts of that time. Nicolò dell'Abate realized the prestigious frescoes of the eastern side of the palace, that are now cherished by Modena's Estense Gallery. Between the sixteenth and the seventeenth century, the palace got its current aspect, and at the beginning of 1700 it was complemented by the elegant Estense Hall, the finest room of the fortress. Situated a short distance from Scandiano, the fortified village of Castellarano still retains its original medieval structure.
- Scandiano, 1441 - Reggio Emilia, December 19, 1494
- 10 years old he become an orphan
- at 20 years old assumes the government of the manor of Scandiano
- 3 years as governor of Modena
- 7 years as governor of Reggio Emilia, until his death
- 2 major works
- 180 poems collected in the Canzoniere
- 1476 starts writing the Orlando Innamorato
- 1483 has been printed the first part of the unfinished work