"Ferrara" Top 5 Page for this destination Ferrara by Mikebond

Ferrara Travel Guide: 328 reviews and 837 photos

A political power

Ferrara was one of the most important seigniories in the Italian Renaissance. The house of Este (or Estensi) made Ferrara a political power: their influence extended to the Polésine (the province of Rovigo between the rivers Po and Adige, in Veneto). However, under their dinasty, Ferrara became also an art city. Ercole I had an extension of the city built by famous architect Biagio Rossetti at the end of the 15th century (this area is called Addizione Erculea "Herculean addition").

Religious power

Ferrara was also the seat of an important archbishopric. Some members of the Este house were bishops themselves.
Lots of churches remains from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the most important of which is the Cattedrale di San Giorgio (usually referred to as Duomo).

The palio: a great tradition

Many people know the palio of Siena, in Toscana (Tuscany), a horse race that takes place in summer; however, few know that Ferrara has its own palio and, guess what... it is the most ancient in Italia and in the world. Moreover, it doesn't consists only of a horse race, but of two competitions among young Ferrarese boys and girls (Palio dei Putti and Palio delle Putte) and of a unique race of female donkeys (Palio dei Somari).
These races take place at Piazza Ariostea, but they are preceded by a wonderful parade of the eight contradas (Ferrara's quarters) in ancient costumes. I was lucky to be in Ferrara on 1st June 2008 and to attend it! The palio usually take place on the last May Sunday every year.

I have already uploaded all the videos I took, but I will need some time to upload some photos (mainly because it's hard to choose the best ones, they are all very nice). Meanwhile, you can see all the photos in this Flickr album. Enjoy them and tell me which ones you'd like to see on VT!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:it has kept its original centre
  • Cons:too many bikes, even in pedestrian areas
  • In a nutshell:a gift from the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the 21st century
  • Last visit to Ferrara: May 2008
  • Intro Updated Jun 22, 2008
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Reviews (20)

Comments (4)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    Oh wow, your Palio photos are excellent!!! I love these festivals and will definitely come to several Italian cities for more, like I Ceri in Gubbio and their Palio as well :-)) Mille grazie Michele :-)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    I heard Italian ice cream is rerally good - would love to try Venchi which has been there ince 1878!!! San Francesco Church is so beautiful...Norman :)

  • Cristian_Uluru's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2008 at 12:24 AM

    Bell'inizio!!!! Peccato che quando sono andato la chiesa di San Francesco era chiusa per pausa pranzo!

  • Anjutka's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2008 at 2:54 PM

    Ciao! Tutto bene! L'estate è quasi arrivato qui:-) Non ho mai sentita di questa citta...E lontana di Ravenna i Rimini?

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