The best things to do in Ferrara

Ferrara is a charming city located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. Known for its stunning Renaissance architecture, delicious cuisine, and rich cultural heritage, Ferrara is the perfect destination for history buffs, foodies, and art lovers alike. From exploring the city’s ancient castles and palaces to sampling local delicacies and enjoying the vibrant nightlife, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Ferrara. Here are just a few of the best things to do in this beautiful city.

Visit the Castello Estense

The Castello Estense is a must-see attraction in Ferrara. This magnificent castle, which dates back to the 14th century, was once the residence of the Este family, who ruled Ferrara during the Renaissance. Today, the castle is open to the public, and visitors can explore its grand halls, frescoed chambers, and beautiful gardens. Don’t miss the chance to see the famous “Golden Room,” which is decorated with intricate gold leaf and frescoes.

Explore the Palazzo dei Diamanti

Another architectural gem in Ferrara is the Palazzo dei Diamanti. Built in the 15th century, this palace is famous for its diamond-shaped stone blocks that cover its facade, giving it its name. Inside, visitors can admire works of art by famous artists such as Bellini, Mantegna, and Tintoretto. The palace also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Stroll through the historic center

Ferrara’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and for good reason. The city’s medieval and Renaissance-era buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, and charming squares make for a beautiful and fascinating stroll. Be sure to visit the Piazza delle Erbe, a lively market square surrounded by medieval houses, and the Piazza Trento e Trieste, which is home to the Cathedral of St. George.

Try the local cuisine

Ferrara is known for its delicious cuisine, which is heavily influenced by the region’s agricultural traditions. Be sure to try some of the local specialties such as cappellacci di zucca (pumpkin-filled pasta), salama da sugo (a type of cured sausage), and pampepato (a traditional chocolate cake). For a truly authentic culinary experience, head to one of the city’s traditional trattorias, where you can sample a variety of local dishes.

Experience the nightlife

Ferrara is a university town, and as such, it has a lively nightlife scene. The city is home to a variety of bars, clubs, and pubs, many of which are located in the historic center. Whether you’re looking for a casual pint or a wild night out, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste in Ferrara.

Visit the Ferrara Bike Capital

Ferrara is also known as the Bike Capital of Italy, and for good reason. The city is extremely bike-friendly and is a great place to explore by bicycle. There are many bike rental shops in the city and it’s also possible to rent electric bikes. The city’s flat terrain, wide streets, and numerous bike lanes make it easy and enjoyable to get around. Take a leisurely ride along the river or explore the city’s many parks and gardens.

Take a day trip to Comacchio

If you have some extra time in Ferrara, consider taking a day trip to Comacchio, a small town located about 20km east of Ferrara. Known for its beautiful canals and bridges, Comacchio is often referred to as “Little Venice.” Visitors can take a boat tour of the town’s canals, admire the beautiful architecture, and sample some of the local seafood delicacies.

Visit the National Archaeological Museum

For history and archaeology buffs, a visit to the National Archaeological Museum is a must. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts from the ancient Etruscan, Roman, and medieval periods, including ceramics, sculptures, and jewelry. The museum also features a section dedicated to the history of the Po Valley, which is the region where Ferrara is located.

Attend a cultural event

Ferrara is a city with a rich cultural heritage, and there are always events and festivals taking place throughout the year. From classical music concerts to theater performances and art exhibitions, there is something for everyone. Be sure to check out the calendar of events before your visit to see what’s happening during your stay.

In conclusion, Ferrara is a charming and fascinating city that offers something for everyone. From its stunning Renaissance architecture and delicious cuisine to its rich cultural heritage and lively nightlife, Ferrara is a destination that should not be missed. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an art lover, there is something to suit your taste in this beautiful city.