The town of Ferrara lies in northern Italy and precisely in the
region called Emilia Romagna.
It is situated on the way connecting Venice (112 Km) to Florence (153 Km); its distance from Milan is 245 Km.; from Rome is
455 Km.; from Bologna is 47 Km.; and from the seaside is 60 Km.
Ferrara is a town which reveals its poetry, its artistic and historical importance at the first encounter.
To grasp its essential tone, to sense its deeper significance, it is enough to wander about its historical
centre and walk along some of its little back streets: to pause in front of its frescoes and architectonic perspective:
to laze in some sunny square of witness one of those glowing Autumn sunsets so typical of Ferrara.
In other words, the visitor should be made aware of these aspects of the city, and then left to observe for himself
and give free play to his imagination.
Of course we reccomend first of all the Cathedral and the
Estense - the castle once seat of the ducal family of Este.
For a broad view of the medieval and Renaissance town, we suggest a walk along
via delle Volte, typical example of XIV Century road, along the dark lanes leading
off from it, and along the streets of the Addizione Erculea (the addition made
to the town by Ercole I of Este, who commisioned it form Biagio Rossetti towards
the end of the XV Century), especially Corso Ercole I of Este as far as the
famous Diamond Crossroads,
and not forgetting a brief visit to Piazza Ariostea, a grandiose and genial
"space" conceived by the town-planner within the context of a series of noble
buildings and to the Certosa.
Special attention should be given to the historical buildings, to the most significant at least, from the famous Palazzo
dei Diamanti (in the Picture-Gallery, together with the very few examples of the Ferrara School of Painting of the XV
Century, the visitor can admire the various works of the same school of the following century, by Garofalo, Dosso Dossi,
and Bastianino), to Palazzo Schifanoia (the frescoes of the months of March, April and May, admirable works by Francesco
del Cossa; other frescoes on another wall by Ercole de' Roberti; and in all of them the guiding hand of Cosimo Tura:
the whole range of the Ferrara School of Painting of the XV Century), to the Palazzo called "di Lodovico il Moro" (the
estraordinary "unfinished" quality of the courtyard; the collection of Greco-Etruscan remains from Spina in the
museum), to Palazzina di Marfisa (the grotesques by the Filippi family; the interior decorations in the exquisite
Renaissance taste), to Casa Romei (a journy back into time of nearly 500 years, to find again, almost intact, the
atmosphere of a XV Century residence).
And the churches! Go to San Francesco, to Santa Maria in Vado, to San Cristoforo alla Certosa, to San Giorgio, to San
Benedetto and discover the various manifestations of Biagio Rossetti's architectural genius. Go to San Giorgio for Antonio
Rossellino as a sculptor, to San Paolo for the colours of Scarsellino and for the soft nuances of Bastianino; to Santa
Maria in Vado for the great paintings of Bononi and Cromer; and to Sant'Antonio in Polesine for an unforgettable choir,
where generations of painters from the XIV Century on have spoken in various styles, on the walls, of the life of Christ.
And many other details: The careful and sensitive visitor will notice them whererver he comes across them.
The historical memories follow you everywhere, in the fine palaces or
in the small medieval streets, and once a year they explode with the colours
and sounds of the "Palio" of Saint George (the oldest
in the world).
On the outskirts of Ferrara there is a beautiful region to visit: the romantic Abbey of Pomposa, on the Romea road; the
Mesola Wood, a wide natural protected oasis, where you can meet with deers, bucks, pheasants; the very particular
Comacchio, a little Venice, built on 13 islets intersected by channels and connected by bridges.
Finally there are the Lidi Ferraresi, the near seaside resorts that are very frequented all year long.
How to arrive in Ferrara