Cornaro Arch named del Falconetto (about 1525)

The Arch of Falconetto is a spectacular stone portal, located at the entrance of Via Cappuccini in Este. It is located along the outer perimeter of the wall of the Carrarese Castle in the western direction at the proximity of the old lane which goes up the hill. The monument serves as the entrance to the large nineteenth-century park of Villa Benvenuti. In all likelihood it is a work built around 1525 by the famous Veronese architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto, from which it derives its name. At the time it was owned by the Venetian Alvise Cornaro, wealthy landowner who usually sojourned in Este twice a year in the Spring and in the Autumn. Within his property he had the arch built, the function of which is still the subject of discussion and study: it is assumed that it has been conceived as an embellishment of the park and then used as a backdrop of an outdoor theatre. It is no coincidence that the presence of Ruzante is attested to in Este precisely in the year of its construction. The Arch del Falconetto is inspired in its forms by the famous Arch of Giano Quadrifronte, that the Veronese architect saw during his lengthy stay in Rome. The monument is made of Nanto stone, a sedimentary stone which is very soft and easily sculpted, yet just as easily subject to erosion and weathering, which unfortunately in the course of the centuries have ruined part of its rich Renaissance decorations. Still visible are the two winged figures placed at the sides of the large mask that acts as the keystone of the arch, while the statues that were originally placed inside the large shell-shaped side niches have been lost.

Visit of the exterior.