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Ferrara in Italy: The most beautiful sights & our tips

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Ciao Ferrara, you Insider tip town in northern Italy. Ferrara is not usually on the classic Italy itinerary. Ferrara is a really attractive travel destination off the beaten track.

The medieval old town of Ferrara is UNESCO World Heritage Site and knows how to impress with its impressive sights . Ferrara is an extremely relaxed little town where you can really enjoy the Italian way of life.

In this blog article, we present the most beautiful sights in Ferrara for a city trip. In addition, of course, we always tell you our very personal tips for your trip.

1. Ferrara in Italy: first travel tips & FAQs at a glance Where is Ferrara and how to get there? Ferrara is located in Northern Italy, specifically in the Emilia-Romagna region. The city is about halfway between Venice and Bologna.

Ferrara itself has no airport. You can easily reach Ferrara from Austria or Germany by car. The journey time from Vienna is around 7.5 hours, from Munich 6 hours.

Important note: The tolls in Italy are not cheap. There is no vignette, you pay for the section you drive (in cash or with a card).

Alternatively, you can of course also fly to Italy and rent a rental car from there for your road trip. The nearest major airport is in Bologna. We always look for cheap flights at Skyscanner. We like to book our rental car with Sunny Cars.

What can I expect in Ferrara?
Medieval architecture

Ferrara’s medieval town center is well preserved. You can look forward to some very special sights, including the Castello Estense. But even apart from the big highlights, Ferrara looks like a small total work of art.
Away from the crowds

Ferrara is more of an insider tip compared to other cities in (Northern) Italy. Those who visit Emilia-Romagna usually get stuck in Bologna. So you can enjoy Ferrara without hectic. Bike friendly
Bikes wherever you go looks! Ferrara is considered one of the most bike-friendly cities in Italy. It is therefore a good idea to explore the town by bike. You can rent bikes all over the city – either in the hotel or in one of the bike rental shops. How many days do I need for a trip to Ferrara? With approximately 130. residents, Ferrara is a fairly manageable city. The most important sights in the old town are practically all within walking distance .

In just a few hours you can easily visit the highlights of the city. Many therefore “only” make a day trip to Ferrara – eg from Ravenna or Bologna.

We ourselves stayed in Ferrara on our road trip through Emilia-Romagna. If you want that too, then we would recommend one to two nights .

2. The most beautiful sights in Ferrara The old town of Ferrara Let’s start in the heart of Ferrara, in the enchanting old town. Although all the sights that we are about to present are in the Old Town, we would like to briefly say a few general words about this part of the city.

In Ferrara you can expect an architecture mix of Middle Ages and Renaissance. We remind you: UNESCO has declared the historic center of Ferrara a World Heritage Site. In this respect, you can look forward to a really charming town.

We particularly liked the small alleyways. Worth seeing is, for example, the former Jewish quarter (Ghetto Ebraico) or the area around the Via delle Volte. The old town of Ferrara is largely car-free. Nothing stands in the way of a relaxed stroll.

Castello Estense & Torre dei Leoni The undoubtedly most important monument and The symbol of Ferrara is the Estense Castle. This iconic castle surrounded by moats is enthroned in the heart of the old town. The Castello Estense comes from the 14. and 15. Century, when Ferrara was under the rule of the dynasty d’Este.

You can visit the courtyard of the castle for free. However, if you want to take a look inside, you must do so as part of a visit to the museum.

The museum is dedicated to the history of the castle and the city of Ferrara. It takes you through countless rooms, including the dungeon and the many state rooms. The museum also houses an extensive art collection. Overall, the museum is therefore more for those interested in history.

Our tip: The surcharge of 2 euros for the Torre dei Leoni is highly recommended. You can reach him from the museum via 15 Stages. A separate visit to the tower is unfortunately not possible.

Information about visiting the Castello Estense at a glance Entry: 12 euros, + 2 euros for the Torre dei Leoni
Opening times & further information: Castello Estense (official website)

Ferrara Cathedral The largest and most important church from Ferrara is the Basilica Cattedrale di San Giorgio. This gigantic sacred building is one of the most important sights of Ferrara after the Castello Estense.

The connection of several epochs is striking. So the church was started in Romanesque style, but over time it was expanded with Gothic and Renaissance elements. The so-called Loggia dei Merciai runs on the right side of the cathedral. There were stalls here as early as the Middle Ages.

Current (as of spring ) unfortunately extensive renovation measures are taking place, so that a large part of the facade is scaffolded and the church unfortunately cannot be visited either.

Palazzo dei Diamanti & Corso Ercole I d’Este A very striking building is the Palazzo dei Diamanti. This attraction is located in the northern area of ​​the historic center and can be reached on foot from Castello Estense via Corso Ercole I d’Este (one of the most famous streets in Ferrara).

Once you arrive, the unusual facade immediately catches your eye. The Palazzo dei Diamanti consists of 12.600 pyramid-shaped blocks of marble reminiscent of cut diamonds. These provide a striking contrast of light and shadow.

Inside the Palazzo dei Diamanti there is a museum which is expected to open in autumn 36263 opens its doors again.

The Palazzo dei Diamanti is clearly the main attraction along Corso Ercole I d’Este. However, there are numerous other palaces here, so that it is definitely worth looking up.

Via delle Volte The most famous medieval street in the center of Ferrara bears the evocative name “Via delle Volte”. This narrow alley was once the most important street in the city.

You will recognize the Via delle Volte immediately by the arches or transitions, the ones opposite Connect rows of houses at regular intervals. Although there are usually a few tourists here, the flair of the Via delle Volte is really very special. You feel instantly transported to another time.

More attractions in Ferrara for more time Palazzo Schifanoia: This famous Renaissance palace of the family d’ Este is especially exciting for those interested in culture. Here you can admire breathtaking (astrological) frescoes.

City Walls of Ferrara: Ferrara has a very well preserved city wall. At least nine kilometers of the historic wall ring are still preserved. You can cycle around Ferrara along the walls.

Cimitero Monumentale della Certosa di Ferrara: North of the Palazzo dei Diamanti you come to the extensive cemetery of Ferrara. With its imposing arcades, it is a great sight of a different kind.

3. Eating & drinking: Culinary recommendations for Ferrara Oh Italy – you food -Mecca! If you come to Ferrara, you can of course look forward to a large portion of enjoyment (as everywhere in Italy). Before we tell you our restaurant tips, here are a few things worth knowing.

Ferrara’s pasta specialties are Cappellacci di Zucca. These pumpkin-filled dumplings are served in many of the city’s trattorias . You can also take the cappellacci di zucca to take home at some delicatessens. (Caution: Must be refrigerated and consumed within a few days.)If you’re served an X-shaped bun in a trattoria, then you’re in luck! This is Coppia Ferrarese, another specialty of the city. Not only in Ferrara, but throughout Italy is legendary Aperitivo – so to speak, the Italian after -Work drink. With your drink (Aperol Spritz!) you will be served a few appetizers free of charge. In our eyes, the aperitivo is one of the greatest traditions in Italy. Tips for cafes & restaurants The Lab: Very modern, industrial-style eatery popular with young people. The menu features Italian classics, often with a creative twist. Reservations recommended!

Trattoria Da Noemi: A hugely popular trattoria in the heart of the old town, awarded by Michelin for excellent value for money would.

L’Emporio della Piazza: Small, friendly café in the heart of the old town with great coffee specialities. Is perfect for a short coffee break.

Pappare: A quite hip and popular café. The pistachio croissant was delicious, but the service staff is understaffed and overwhelmed. Avoid rush hours better.

The Lab Daddy 4. Our hotel tip for Ferrara Are you perhaps still looking for a suitable one Hotel for your trip? Then we have a tip for you! We stayed at Hotel Annunziata which we highly recommend.

This boutique hotel is in the best location right next to the Estense Castle. From some rooms you can even look directly at the castle. It really couldn’t be more central.

We recommend a room in the main building. (There’s also an annex building about a 3-minute walk from the hotel.) While the decor isn’t the newest, it certainly feels comfortable.

The breakfast is great for Italian standards. Both the quality and the variety are right here. You can park your car in the nearby parking garage (approx. 122 euros per day) or park in the public parking lots (5 euros per day).

You can book the hotel here: Hotel Annunziata

Transparency: Affiliate Left This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever been to Ferrara? How did you like the town? Do you have any other tips? Or are you planning a trip to Ferrara and still have questions? We look forward to your comment below this blog article.