Monte di Pietà

The Pawnshop of Ferrara ("Monte di Pietà") opened in 1507. It was ruled by a council of twelve Conservatives under the supervision of four permanent presidents. The Duke of the Este family and the Cardinal of Ferrara were protectors of the Mount. It drew its resources from donations and interest of 5 % charged on loans. The institute, however, was not paying only for the poor and even the Dukes used to go to the Mount. Between 1756 and 1761, at the behest of Cardinal Legate Francesco Banchieri, the Mount was given the splendid new home we find in this great building. In 1796 the Mount of Ferrara suffered the Napoleonic spoliation and was reopened only in 1808.