A heavyweight Renaissance art city peppered with colossal palaces and still ringed by its intact medieval walls, Ferrara jumps out at you like an absconded Casanova (he once stayed here) on the route between Bologna and Venice.
Two souls vibrate in the city of Ferrara: a medieval one in the south and the Renaissance one in the north, converging in the Castello Estense.
Start by Viale Cavour-Corso Giovecca, the road axis that represents an ideal bridge between the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Reach the ancient city walls by bike, and you’ll find out that Ferrara is one of the few Italian cities still walled up, surrounded by as many as 9 km of defensive walls with green paths, viable on foot or by bike.
Then, continue your guided tour beginning from the mighty Castello Estense. This symbol of the city’s history and power dates from the time of the Este family, the Lords who ruled Ferrara for over 300 years, making it capital for culture and artistic achievements. See the magnificent façade of St. George Cathedral, all decorated with stone relief like lace and full of statues, with monsters and griffins at the front door. The long side of the cathedral on Piazza Trento & Trieste (once the market square) is also beautiful.
Then, go on towards the famous district of 'Addizione Erculea.' Commissioned by Duke Ercole I at the end of the 15th century, it’s the very first European example of the integral development plan that earned Ferrara’s inclusion in the UNESCO List in 1995. Here, the most famous building is Palazzo dei Diamanti with 8,500 ashlar stone diamond-shaped blocks.
From Quadrivio Degli Angeli you will arrive at Piazza Ariostea dominated by the statue of court poet, Ludovico Ariosto. Not far away is the Monumental Certosa of San Cristoforo, a beautiful religious complex from the 15th century, and the relaxing Ferrara walls too.
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