The origins of the name can be traced back to "media insula", i.e. "in the middle of the island"; or, according to other sources, a "mensola", namely "small table"; or again a "mensa", i.e. "raised spot". In fact, in the past Mesola was an island, a high spot, which had emerged from the silt deposited by the Po during floods. From the very beginning this town grew up around the castle of the Este family, an imposing building built by Alfonso II at the end of the 16th century. It was situated on the edge of a large hunting estate, the remains of which today make up the "Gran Bosco" (Great Wood).