The convent dates back to the 13th century but the use of its cloisters has changed many times in history: under the passage-way between the two courtyards, two frescoes of the time when the complex was a Dominican nun convent (until 1796) are still visible; then, the cloisters were turned into an hospital and a barrack for Estensi troops, whereas later on, from the 19th century, they became an institute promoting the use of horses in the army.

Today, this space is a very popular cultural center including Achille Peri Music Institute, the town Archive group and the Exhibition Center.

Thanks to the project “Invitation to…Luciano Fabro, Sol LeWitt, Eliseo Mattiacci, Robert Morris”  curated by the artist Claudio Parmigiani, in the small cloister we can stumble upon a permanent work of art by Robert Morris, “Less Then”.

Daily, when the sun sets, industrial noises and sounds from everyday life are played into the cloister, breaking the silence to which this place was once dedicated but bringing the bystander to different dimension of meditation in front of the bronze headless man bended under the weight of an amphora.