Monday, July 27, 2015

Ferrara...the renaissance city

We did a very short trip to Ferrara, reaching there around 3:30 pm and coming back by 8:00 pm. Ferrara is truly a treasure chest of art of history as the tour guide quotes. It has a bygone era atmosphere and picturesque little streets that make you walk around and see more of. Ferra is also one of the cities with the highest number of bicycles in the world.

out side the cathedral

We walked from Ferrara railway station towards Palazzo Municipale to the Piazza Cattedrale. Town The Cathedral is way back from the 12th century and has an awe inspiring facade. This includes Romanesque style, sculptures from the New Testament and the Gothic style upper part. The interior has undergone changes across centuries and includes valuable art from various eras. The cathedral museum also includes robes of priests and other cathedral silverware and finery.

A short walk from the cathedral is the Castello Estense, to save time we did not go in, but the exterior itself is magnificent and offers a nice peek into history. The cannon displayed at the entrance, those small artillery windows and the mechanic castle door would bring out your child-like curiosity to know and see more.

Entrance of  Castello Estense
Gates of Castello Estense

From the castle we decided to take a look at the 'Renaissance Addition' as suggested by the guide we picked from the tourist information center at the Castello Estense. We walked by Palazzo di Giulio d'Este - this includes different architectural elements like the marble portal, brickwork in arch vaults of windows and a small balcony in a mezzanine position. Next was Palazzo dei Diamanti. The building is made of 8500 stones cut to in the shape of diamonds, and has a diagonal view from across the street. Inside this is a bygone era setting, with lush green courtyard, flanked by dilapidated walls. There is an impressive exhibition area in the ground floor as well.
Castello Estense
Piazzale Diamanti
Inside Piazzale Diamati

Right across the lane is the 'Orto Botanico' a small botanical garden maintanied by the University of Ferrara. They have an impressive list of plants including plankton, hibiscus, lotus,  varieties of aloe vera, cactii, and also carnivorous plants. Our daughter Avani enjoyed looking at the turtles here. They are said to have about 700 species of plants. If you take the exit on the other side you would reach Parco Massari, a beautiful little park with an ancient welcoming tree at the entrance and some lovely fountains. An amazing place to be in summer, if you have little kids travelling with you.
Carnivorous plants at Orto Botanico
Parco Massari - ancient tree at entrance
Parco Massari - founrains

In the interest of time, we decided to move to the Le Mura - Walls of Ferrara next. It is a walk of around 1.5 kms from Parco Massari. No sight on the way to the walls will be any less inspiring. Every little street has a story to tell, a structure to show-off and a sight to behold. The walls stretch for nine kilometers and surround Ferrara to a great extent. 
Le Mura di Ferrara

Most significant periods of Italian military architecture can be found here. The walls overlook a beautifully designed park, on side and an refreshing green zone, full of huge trees- a great jogging/walking path on the other. The walls stretch about 9kms, and I must say has been well maintained.

walking path near 'Walls of  Ferrara'
Ferrara has so much to offer, it is underrated from a tourism perspective. We are looking forward to more trips to Ferrara to explore and enjoy the city further.

Thanks to for publishing a great tour guide 'Vist Ferrara and its province'

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