Ferrara: what to see, the old town, the castle of the Este

What to see in Ferrara, history and attractions, walking tour of the places of interest to visit, from the Basilica of St. George at the Diamond Palace, until the austere Este castle.

Ferrara travel guide

Ferrara is a beautiful city in the Emilia-Romagna with a townhouse dating from the fourteenth century to the time of the domination of the Este. Ferrara is currently one of the four provincial capitals Italians, along with Bergamo, Lucca and Grosseto, which still has a historic center remained virtually intact in the original and completely surrounded by walls. Ferrara is a city ‘of Emilia Romagna, the provincial capital, listed as World Heritage of humanity’ Unesco.

His first settlement is not very old, dating back to the goal ‘of the seventh century, when it was moved to the episcopal see of Voghenza in Borgo San Giorgio, crossed the Po to fly, now south of Porta Romana, where he had already’ present a Byzantine castrum of the sixth century. The city ‘was Lombard before becoming a fief of Tedald of Canossa. In 1135 the bishop’s seat was moved to the Cathedral of Ferrara, in the center of the city ‘.

Meanwhile, the City was already ruling ‘themselves and the territory was emerging. Were the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines that led the beginning of the Lordship of Este, who in spite of conflicts and riots in 1322 were obtained from Rome the investiture of the city ‘. The history of Ferrara is linked to this family that guarantors ‘the city’ almost three centuries of economic development and artistic splendor.

In particular, the second half ‘of the four was also an important period in the aspect of urban growth of Ferrara, in fact, thanks to the project architect Biagio Rossetti was expanded the city area with a scheme called Herculean Addition, one of the first urban projects in Europe. In 1598 Ferrara within ‘to be part of the Papal States, until 1859 when I pass’ the Kingdom of Sardinia.

The Este remained in the city government for nearly three centuries and was especially in the second half of the fifteenth century under the rule of Alfonso I d’Este that the city reached its peak thanks to the attendance of the ducal court by the likes of Piero della Francesca, Pisanello, Leon Battista Alberti, Andrea Mantegna and Rogier van der Weyden, with the simultaneous development of a local school of painting led by Ercole de ‘Roberti, Cosme Tura and Francesco del Cossa.

In the sixteenth century lived in Ferrara renowned artists including Dosso Dossi, Titian, Giovanni Bellini and many writers such as Ariosto and Tasso. They worked at the studio Ferrarese also Guarino Veronese, Giovanni Battista Giraldi, Celio Calcagnini and Giovan Battista Pigna.

What to see in Ferrara

The Basilica of St. George, located in Borgo San Giorgio, was the first cathedral of the city ‘, until the construction of the Cathedral. Romanesque and Gothic, the new Cathedral of St. George was built by William the Adelardi and was consecrated in 1135. The bell tower in the Renaissance style, probably designed by Leon Battista Alberti was unfinished. Near the Cathedral, in the city center, is the Castello Estense.

The imposing fortress was built in 1385 by Nicolo ‘II d’Este, architect Bartolino from Novara. The building was built incorporating the old Torre dei Leoni and adding the defensive walls and three towers. Until 1450 the castle was conceived as a military fort, then was gradually transformed into a stately home.

The Este left the old residence of the Town Hall and moved there. The construction of the Town Hall beginning ‘in 1245 and was accomplished’ towards 1481. The neo-Gothic facade is a remake of 1927. At the center of the Crossroads of the Angels, the two main arteries of the Herculean, the building is situated Renaissance the most significant of the city, the Palazzo dei Diamanti.

It was built by Sigismondo d’Este architect Biagio Rossetti, starting in 1493. The palace takes its name from the lining of the more than 8,500 blocks of marble to spearhead that make up his rustication. It houses the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. In Ferrara is also the home of Ludovico Ariosto, a building of the end of the fifteenth century or the beginning of the sixteenth century, where the poet, writer and dramatist lived the last years of his life devoted to the final version of the famous opera Orlando Furioso.

In the World Heritage of Humanity ‘by UNESCO, along with the city’ of Ferrara and the Po Delta Park, are also listed Delights Este, a set of residences and hunting lodges had built by the Este family as places of entertainment and summer retreats, between the end of 1300 and the goal ‘of 1500. Many of these buildings were connected to Ferrara through channels and waterways.

The Residences more ‘known are Palazzo Schifanoia and Belriguardo. Schifanoia Palace, which literally means “dodge boredom,” was built by Alberto d’Este in 1385, expanded and transformed first designed by Pietro Benvenuti Orders and then design by Biagio Rossetti, was completed in 1493. Inside Palazzo’s famous frescoes of the Salone dei Mesi.

In the campaign of Voghiera is the Delight Belriguardo, built by the Marquis Niccolo III d’Este in 1435. Enlarged and transformed over the years, the work of important architects of the Renaissance, was used as a residence very sumptuous villa of representation and residence summer throughout the Este court and for its prestigious guests.

From the beginning of 1598 ‘the decay of the complex that suffered’ during the time the break-up into many small properties’, until the acquisition by the city administration of Voghiera which began the work of restoration. Since 2006 Ferrara is home to the Hermitage Museum, thanks to its historical importance, and represents one of the few cities linked to the famous Russian museum.