A usual trip to Italy includes visits to the cities of Rome
, among others.
Often you will share your trip experiences with other people, in a city with heavy traffic and other tourists. The noise and the expenses will probably lower the value of your experiences, so sometimes is better to travel to a smaller city or even a town that will give you memories that will stay with you forever after this enjoyable trip.
This is the time now to visit Ferrara
, a small but one of the most noticed renaissance and medieval cities in the north of Italy. It is for sure, not your typical destination, and it is perfect for you, a person that wants to enjoy the authentic northern Italian culture as a bonus.
Ferrara was developed around a ford near the River Po, and became the main artistic and intellectual centre of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. The city has earned the concept as the city of ‘true humanism’. Ferrara retained its urban style intact through times and the urban design is noticed within the City’s borders.
UNESCO in turn declared Ferrara as a world heritage site, because of its conserved ancient structure, its excellent monuments and the magnificent artistic treasure within and around the surrounding territory.
This city is truly a fantastic example of a well conserved city that didn’t lost its identity through time. This is an Italian city that differs from its other similar old cities.
The brilliant Este court was the centre of attention in the 15th and 16th century as it invited a variety of poets, philosophers and artists such as Jacopo Bellini, Mantegna and Piero Della Francesca, which decorated the villa and the pallazi of the Este family. Their style influenced future artists which in turn helped to form the Ferrara school of painting.
When you visit Ferrara the first thing that you will notice is the ancient city wall
, a wall that intended to help the city defend from attacks in the past and it is still preserved until today. The needlelike ancient alleys had been conserved and the bicycle today is the most used vehicle to explore the city. Do not stand in line behind other tourists, but instead rent a bike, which you can find at the train station. Everyone uses a bike in Ferrara. You will see families, well dressed businessmen or even old ladies using bicycles to get to where they want.
You can also visit the Belriguardo Castle
, which was an Italian Versailles, and the area where the court spent its summer. The area around the Po River is a truly magnificent naturalistic area, protected under the natural reserve, and is a perfect spot for bird watching with more than 300 different registered bird species.
Ferrara’s medieval streets, the gothic style of the towers and the castles that you will see during the day will stimulate your imagination.
Ferrara as all other Italian cities has a variety of clothing shops, ranging from budget clothes to the more expensive boutiques. The main shopping districts are Via Garibaldi and Via Mazzini and the area around the Castello.
Also you can find the open market in the Piazza Trento-Trieste which will provide you with any promising things, from furniture to old antique, or clothes and the more every day products of food. Be sure to visit Ferrara Frutta and try the local fresh products of the Ferrara community.
The last reason to visit Ferrara, and I believe the most important is the gastronomy. The Ferrara is full of ancient recipes and dishes that will satisfy even the strictest chef. Try the ‘ciupeta’, an old renaissance recipe of the ancient Ferrara bread and the ‘Salama da sugo’ among other excellent dishes.
Now, the easiest way to visit the excellent city of Ferrara from any other country is by traveling to Bologna
by plane. From there you need to take a train or the bus that will take you to Ferrara. It is that easy.
Your trip to Ferrara will give you memories that you will keep for life. The city reminds you stories that have been made into movies and now it is your turn to be the main actor in your trip.
What to see:
Visit the Jewish museum
, also called ‘Cimitero Israelitico’ that can be found along via Porta Mare. This is one of the most beautiful areas in the city and it is where the Jewish life was living.
Walk down to the Castle Estense
, the castle of the Este family with, decorated rooms that survive until today such as the Salone, the Saletta dei Giochi, the Sala dell ‘Aurora and Camerina dei Baccanali. Your tour should include a visit to the Renée's Calvinist chapel, the dungeon and the prison.
Later you can go to the Palazzo dei Diamanti
, a palace situated in the centre and named after the 8,500 pointed, diamond-shaped stones and the diamonds that were the emblem of the Este family. It houses the Pinacoteca Nazionale
, a fine collection by the Ferrara school of art.
To have a look at true art go to the Museo Della Cattedrale
with its true magnificent art. It includes the marble Madonna of the Pomegranate by Jacopo Della Quercia.
Finally visit the Palazzo Schifanoia
, Ferrara’s most famous palace that was built in 1385 and end with a visit to the magnificent Salone dei Mesi, painted by the best. The palace has also other rooms with a collection of medieval and ancient.
Use a bicycle that you can rent from the train station or walk.
A card Musei gives you full access to all of the museums.