20 Best Places And Things To Do in Ferrara, Italy

Ferrara, located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, is a charming and historic city that offers visitors a unique blend of art, culture, and medieval architecture. With its well-preserved city walls, picturesque canals, and numerous Renaissance palaces, Ferrara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that captivates travelers with its beauty and rich history. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Ferrara:

1. Castello Estense

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A symbol of the city, Castello Estense is a magnificent moated castle that dates back to the 14th century. Explore its grand halls, picturesque gardens, and climb the tower for panoramic views of Ferrara. Address: Largo Castello, 1, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy

2. Ferrara Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Giorgio)

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Admire the stunning Romanesque facade of the Ferrara Cathedral and step inside to marvel at its beautiful interior. Don’t miss the impressive altarpiece and the crypt where the remains of the city’s patron saint, St. George, are kept. Address: Piazza della Cattedrale, 1, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy

3. Palazzo dei Diamanti

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This striking palace is known for its distinctive diamond-shaped bricks. It houses the National Art Gallery of Ferrara, which displays a remarkable collection of Renaissance and Baroque art, including works by renowned painters such as Titian and Tintoretto. Address: Corso Ercole I d’Este, 21, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy

4. Palazzo Schifanoia

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Visit this exquisite palace, known for its stunning frescoes. The Hall of the Months is particularly impressive, with its intricate depictions of the astrological and mythological themes. Address: Via Scandiana, 23, 44122 Ferrara FE, Italy

5. Historic Center (Centro Storico)

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Take a leisurely stroll through Ferrara’s well-preserved historic center, which is a delight to explore on foot or by bicycle. Admire the medieval and Renaissance architecture, charming cobblestone streets, and picturesque squares like Piazza del Municipio and Piazza Ariostea. Address: The historic center of Ferrara is accessible by various streets and squares, with the main area concentrated around Corso Ercole I d’Este.

6. Casa Romei

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Step back in time as you visit this beautifully restored medieval palace. Casa Romei offers a glimpse into the daily life of Ferrara’s aristocracy and features exquisite frescoes, elegant furnishings, and a lovely courtyard. Address: Via Savonarola, 30, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy

7. Museo del Duomo

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Located near the Ferrara Cathedral, this museum showcases a fascinating collection of religious art and artifacts, including sculptures, paintings, and medieval manuscripts. Address: Via San Romano, 1, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy

8. Walls of Ferrara

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Rent a bicycle and ride along the impressive city walls that encircle Ferrara. The well-preserved fortifications offer a scenic route to explore the city, with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Address: The city walls surround the historic center of Ferrara. You can access various points along the walls, including Porta degli Angeli and Porta San Pietro.

9. Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico)

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Relax and unwind in this peaceful oasis, which is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe. Stroll through the lush greenery, admire the diverse plant species, and enjoy the tranquility of this serene space. Address: Via Borsari, 3, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy

10. Traditional Cuisine

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Indulge in the delicious local cuisine of Ferrara. Don’t miss the city’s signature dish, cappellacci di zucca (pumpkin-filled pasta), as well as other regional specialties like salama da sugo (a type of cured sausage) and torta tenerina (a rich chocolate cake). Address: There are numerous restaurants and trattorias in Ferrara that serve traditional cuisine. You can explore different establishments in the city center to indulge in local dishes.

11. Jewish Ghetto

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Explore the Jewish Ghetto of Ferrara, one of the oldest and most well-preserved ghettos in Italy. Learn about the history of the Jewish community in Ferrara and visit the Synagogue, which dates back to the 15th century and is adorned with beautiful decorations. Address: The Jewish Ghetto is located near Via Mazzini and Via Vigne, in the northeastern part of the historic center of Ferrara.

12. Casa di Ludovico Ariosto

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Visit the former residence of Ludovico Ariosto, one of Italy’s greatest Renaissance poets. This charming house is now a museum dedicated to Ariosto’s life and works, showcasing manuscripts, personal belongings, and a library. Address: Via Ludovico Ariosto, 67, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy

13. Museo Archeologico Nazionale

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Immerse yourself in Ferrara’s ancient past at the National Archaeological Museum. Discover artifacts from different periods, including Roman, Etruscan, and Greek, and gain insights into the region’s rich archaeological heritage. Address: Via XX Settembre, 122, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy

14. Bike Tours

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Take advantage of Ferrara’s bike-friendly atmosphere and join a guided bike tour. Explore the city’s hidden corners, picturesque neighborhoods, and beautiful countryside while enjoying the freedom of cycling. Address: Various bike tour operators offer guided tours of Ferrara. You can inquire locally or book through tour companies that provide such services.

15. Teatro Comunale

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If you’re a fan of performing arts, catch a show at the Teatro Comunale. This historic theater hosts a variety of performances, including opera, ballet, and concerts, providing a memorable cultural experience. Address: Corso Martiri della Libertà, 5, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy

16. Palazzo Massari

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Admire the elegant Palazzo Massari, which houses the Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery of Ferrara. The gallery showcases a collection of artworks spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, featuring renowned Italian and international artists. Address: Via Gramicia, 5, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy

17. Po Delta Park

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Venture outside of the city to explore the stunning Po Delta Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Embark on boat tours, birdwatching excursions, or nature walks to discover the park’s diverse ecosystems, wetlands, and wildlife. Address: The Po Delta Park is located outside Ferrara. You can access different areas of the park from various points along the coast, such as Comacchio or Goro.

18. Palio di Ferrara

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If you visit Ferrara in late May, you may have the chance to witness the Palio, a traditional horse race that takes place in the historic center. Experience the excitement of this centuries-old event, where different neighborhoods compete for glory. Address: The Palio di Ferrara takes place in the historic center of the city, with the racecourse set up in Piazza Ariostea.

19. Street Markets

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Explore Ferrara’s vibrant street markets, such as the Mercato di Via Cairoli or Mercato di Piazza Trento e Trieste. Stroll through the stalls, sample local produce, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere. Address: The Mercato di Via Cairoli is located on Via Cairoli, while the Mercato di Piazza Trento e Trieste is situated in Piazza Trento e Trieste. These locations are within the city center.

20. Gelato and Pastries

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Treat yourself to the delectable gelato and pastries that Ferrara has to offer. Sample traditional flavors like zuppa inglese or try the local specialty, the “pampapato,” a chocolate and nut cake that will delight your taste buds. Address: You can find gelato shops and pastry stores throughout the city center of Ferrara, particularly along the main streets like Corso Ercole I d’Este and Via Cavour.