Ferrara is a splendid City of Art to be experienced strolling through its streets, discovering its Renaissance character in every corner and capturing, from this glorious past, the reasons for its present.
The Estensi Family ruled Ferrara for three centuries and gave it the appearance that it still preserves today. A unique urban design, that harmoniously combines the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, turned Ferrara in the first modern city in Europe. UNESCO proclaimed the city as a World Heritage Site by Humanity.
It is a peaceful city, designed to be people-oriented, to be explored on foot or by bicycle, reviving the magical atmosphere of the past.
Not to be missed are the numerous museums in the city, which are not only rich in masterpieces, but also reflect the past and present of the city.
Ruins of the fabulous city of Spina and evidence of the Greek and Etruscan world are kept in the rooms of Palazzo Costabili; the great paintings of the fifteenth and sixteenth century at Palazzo dei Diamanti and then again the art of Boldini, de Pisis and the works of contemporary artists at Palazzo Massari.
To admire, Palazzo Schifanoia with its splendid Salone dei Mesi with frescos painted in the 15th century by the painters of the Officina Ferrarese; the Castello Estense, ancient residence of the Dukes of Este; the harmonious Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral and its Museum with works of great value. On the left side of the cathedral, overlooking the square, is the Loggia dei Merciai, occupied by shops and workshops since medieval times.
Entering the Medieval area you will then discover gems of religious art, such as the Monastery of Sant’Antonio in Polesine with its frescoes of the Giottesque school, or the Church of Santa Maria in Vado, a pilgrimage destination following the Eucharistic miracle that took place here in the 12th century.
You can’t leave without having taken a walk in the suggestive medieval streets of Ferrara and a bike ride on the Renaissance walls that have maintained their original appearance.
At dawn the medieval streets around the Cathedral come alive for the usual happy hour: in one of these alleys there is also the oldest osteria in the world, remembered by Ludovico Ariosto and listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
For the gourmets, try the famous “coppia”, the tasty Ferrara bread with its elaborate shape, awarded the PGI mark; the very popular “cappellacci”, tortelli stuffed with pumpkin and parmesan cheese and the “pasticcio di maccheroni”, a true synthesis of courtly traditions, and, finally, the “salama da sugo”, an unusual mixture of pork meat.
For the fitness lovers, the city walls are the favourite jogging area of the residents: nine kilometres along the embankment, between the green of the lime and plane trees and the red bricks of the walls. For those who prefer cycling, the ideal is the cycle path at the base of the walls, which reach the “Destra Po” with a route that passes through the urban park to the North of the city.
Ferrara also hosts prestigious Exhibitions held in the beautiful historical locations of the city and an incredible number of international events throughout the year that attract tourists from all over the world, such as the Buskers Festival, New Year’s Eve with the fire of the Castle, the Baloon Festival, Ferrara in Jazz, International in Ferrara.