Guarded by two walls, the historic centre of Ferrara lies somewhat off the radar of tourists. A Renaissance town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Italy, holds history and beauty worth discovering. Here’s why:
Walk along the outer wall to view the red city from a higher vantage point while admiring the greenery just outside the wall. You’ll find a picturesque view of one of the town’s gate’s too. Walk inside and get lost discovering the bakeries, houses and stores along the cobbled streets.
In the centre you’ll find a tower and a small market. Someone will likely be playing music for your space change and you’ll feel as though you’re on a movie set. Just beyond this, there is a castle, with a moat and all! This is the House of d’Este. Take the tour inside and up the tower.
Inside the castle, you’ll wonder through rooms with fresco’s, the kitchen and the haunting dungeons. Getting to the tower requires quite a few floors of steps but offers a stunning 360 degree view of the city.
It sounds morbid but don’t leave without seeing Cimitero Ebriaco. The Jewish cemetery, next to the Catholic church is stunning.
Other places you’ll find in Ferrara are piazza’s, a cathedral, museums and Palazzo dei Diamanti which is often host to exhibitions. I chose to finish off they trip with Italian-style hot chocolate (thick and creamy, like pudding).
(For the love of old men in hats)
*Side note: Whilst inside the castle I kept wondering if d’Este would be rolling in his grave if he knew that his home would become a place that the public pour in and out of everyday. I find it so creepy that the bourgeois held the people they locked up beneath them, quite literally. Don’t forget that the pretty-ness of the castle masks an ugly history. In these dungeons, the ceilings, space and light diminished, depending on the severity of the crime. Look closely and you’ll see the writing on the wall, curiously of those once sentenced to stay down there. Finally, make sure to read more on the 15th century murder of 2 lovers there.
Favourite finds in Ferrara: