Ferrara is one of the many Italian masterpieces that our ancestors left us as a legacy. Located in the Emilia region, about 50 kilometers from Comacchio, the city became part of the UNESCO heritage for the artistic richness of the center. The historic buildings and places of worship, then, are still "protected" by the mighty medieval walls. Visiting its ancient part is a bit like walking in an immense open-air museum. With the pleasant, continuous discovery of architectural wonders that have survived over the centuries.
FROM THE PAST TO THE PRESENT OF FERRARA
If Ferrara is a major tourist destination, the credit goes to the artistic heritage from its millennial past. The city in medieval times came under the dominion of the Estensi, who made this center an urban excellence. From here passed great artists and intellectuals including Ludovico Ariosto, Mantegna, Tiziano, Torquato Tasso. The Ferrarese Renaissance, then, is among the most flourishing of Italian art and bequeathed wonderful examples of architecture and art.
WHAT TO SEE IN FERRARA
There are many wonders that distinguish Ferrara from the other historic cities of the Belpaese. The first is the Addizione Erculea, that is the urban layout given to the center of Ferrara from the end of the 400. Ercole I d’Este wanted to replace the medieval structure with a plan that exalted the Estensi's headquarters. Ferrara thus became an urban example for all of Europe.
To get to know the architects of the Additional Erculea and its wonders, visit the Estense Castle, home of the "enlightened" rulers of Ferrara. The building stands out with its four towers and watches over the historic center. Enclosed within the medieval walls, which surround the ancient part of Ferrara for about 9 kilometers. The walls have crossed many centuries but have remained the same. Today they protect only metaphorically the historical-artistic heritage of Ferrara, rich also in religious architecture.
The Cathedral of San Giorgio is the most important place of worship in the city and dates back to the 12th century. Visitors are struck by the sumptuous external facade in white marble, the Renaissance bell tower and the baroque interiors divided into three naves.
The Basilica di San Giorgio outside the walls, on the other hand, is the oldest church in Ferrara and dates back to the 7th century after Christ. The finely decorated interior spaces and the charming cloister of the adjoining monastery are worth a visit.
Opposite the Cathedral stands the imposing Palazzo Municipale, symbol of political power in the Middle Ages. The main façade in neo-medieval style contrasts with the ducal courtyard and the sumptuous Este apartments.
Other monuments to visit are the Palazzo della Ragione near the Cathedral, the Palazzo dei Diamanti and the House of Ludovico Ariosto. The writer is the emblem of a class of intellectuals and artists who chose Ferrara in its heyday.
The cultural vigor of the past still lives on today in the university, one of the oldest in Italy. Among his students there are illustrious names: Copernicus, Ariosto himself, Torquato Tasso. Today it is home to prestigious faculties that attract Italian students from all over Europe to the center of Ferrara.
The few monuments described above do not honor the immense artistic heritage of Ferrara. This is why the best way to get to know it in its entirety is to visit the city during the many events that take place during the year. Like the traditional Palio or Ferrara Sotto le Stelle, without forgetting the other cultural events of the city.
Ferrara is easily reached by car from Comacchio and remains one of the favorite destinations for those staying in the Ferrara shores. Not even an hour's journey to discover a unique city in the world.