It was two years ago this month that we visited Ferrara. Located only about half hour by train from Bologna this city is definitely worth a visit. It reminded me a lot of Bologna, only smaller and without all the tourists.
The city has one of Italy’s best preserved Medieval neighborhoods. The quarter is a mix of churches, palaces and ordinary houses. I loved the variety of arches, windows and shutters lining the jumble of streets.
Right in the center of town there’s the castle built by the Este family complete with a moat. If you’re in Ferrara definitely tour the castle. Be sure to check out the dungeon!
Similar to Lucca, Ferrara is also surrounded by a wall. Yes you can walk up there, but it’s not paved like Lucca’s and it’s quite a bit longer, although are a few interruptions.
While walking around the neighborhood near our apartment in search of a pizzeria we came upon this track built around a grassy area. Later we discovered that this is where the city’s annual palio takes place. You’ve probably heard of the famous palio (horse race) in Sienna, but Ferrara’s is the oldest in the world. It usually takes place the last Sunday in May, but it’s doubtful that this festival will take place in just a few short weeks.
A good portion of the centro is free of automobiles and there are bikes are everywhere. Since it’s a very flat area it’s the perfect mode of transportation.
Truth be told we didn’t have enough time in this lovely city and plan on a return visit. Oh, and the food is similar to and just as good as Bologna’s.