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Ferrara
—  Comune  —
Comune di Ferrara
The Castle Estense

Coat of arms
Ferrara is located in Italy
Ferrara
Location of Ferrara in Italy
Coordinates: 44°50′N 11°37′E / 44.833°N 11.617°E / 44.833; 11.617Coordinates: 44°50′N 11°37′E / 44.833°N 11.617°E / 44.833; 11.617
Country Italy
Region Emilia-Romagna
Province Ferrara (FE)
Frazioni Aguscello, Albarea, Baura, Boara, Borgo Scoline, Bova, Casaglia, Cassana, Castel Trivellino, Chiesuol del Fosso, Cocomaro di Cona, Cocomaro di Focomorto, Codrea, Cona, Contrapò, Corlo, Correggio, Denore, Focomorto, Francolino, Gaibana, Gaibanella, Sant'Egidio, Malborghetto di Boara, Malborghetto di Correggio, Marrara, Mezzavia, Monestirolo, Montalbano, Parasacco, Pescara, Pontegradella, Pontelagoscuro, Ponte Travagli, Porotto, Porporana, Quartesana, Ravalle, Sabbioni, San Bartolomeo in Bosco, San Martino, Spinazzino, Torre della Fossa, Uccellino, Viconovo, Villanova
Government
 - Mayor Tiziano Tagliani (Democratic Party)
Area
 - Total 404.36 km2 (156.1 sq mi)
Elevation 9 m (30 ft)
Population (30 November 2008)
 - Total 134,425
 Density 332.4/km2 (861/sq mi)
 - Demonym Ferraresi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 44121 to 44124
Dialing code 0532
Patron saint St. George
Saint day April 23
Website Official website

Ferrara About this sound listen is a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara. It is situated 50 km north-northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po River, located 5 km north. The town has broad streets and numerous palaces dating from the 14th century and 15th century, when it hosted the court of the House of Este. For its beauty and cultural importance it has been qualified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. Modern times have brought a renewal of industrial activity. Ferrara is on the main rail line from Bologna to Padua and Venice, and has branches to Ravenna, Poggio Rusco (for Suzzara) and Codigoro. In 2006, due to its important historical significance, Ferrara became the headquarters of the Italian Hermitage Museum. It is the fifth city in the world to have been linked with the Russian museum. From this union was born the Hermitage-Italy Foundation.[1]

Contents

History

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Middle Ages

Ancient map of Ferrara.
Ferrara City Hall.

The origin of Ferrara is uncertain, it was probably settled by the inhabitants of the lagoons at the mouth of Po river; there are two early centers of settlement, one round the cathedral,[2] the other, the castrum bizantino, being the San Pietro district, on the opposite shore, where the Primaro empties into the Volano channel. Ferrara appears first in a document of the Lombard king Desiderius of 753 AD,[3] as a city forming part of the Exarchate of Ravenna. Desiderius pledged a Lombard ducatus ferrariae ("Duchy of Ferrara") in 757 to Pope Stephen II. After 984 it was a fief of Tedaldo, count of Modena and Canossa, nephew of the emperor Otto I. It afterwards made itself independent, and in 1101 was taken by siege by the countess Matilda. At this time it was mainly dominated by several great families, among them the prominent Adelardi (or Aleardi) family.

In 1146, Guglielmo II of Adelardi, the last of the House of Adelardi, died, and his property passed, as the dowry of his niece the Marchesella, to Obizzo I of Este. There was considerable hostility between the newly entered family and the prominent Salinguerra family, but after considerable struggles Azzo VII of Este was nominated perpetual podestà in 1242; in 1259 he took Ezzelino of Verona prisoner in battle. His grandson, Obizzo II (1264–1293), succeeded him, and he was made perpetual lord of the city by the population. The House of Este was from henceforth settled in Ferrara. In 1289 he was also chosen as lord of Modena, one year later he was made lord of Reggio. Niccolò III (1393–1441) received several popes with great magnificence, especially Eugene IV, who held a council here in 1438. His son Borso received the title of duke for the imperial fiefs of Modena and Reggio from Emperor Frederick III in 1452 (in which year Girolamo Savonarola was born here), and in 1471 was made duke of Ferrara by Pope Paul II. Ercole I (1471–1505) carried on a war with Venice and increased the magnificence of the city.

Renaissance

Portrait of a Woman by Bartolomeo Veneto, traditionally assumed to be Lucrezia Borgia.

During the reign of Ercole d'Este I, one of the most significant patrons of the arts in late 15th and early 16th century Italy after the Medici, Ferrara grew into a cultural center, renowned for music as well as for visual arts. The painters established links with flemish artists and their techniques, exchanging influences in the colors and composition choices. Composers came to Ferrara from many parts of Europe, especially France and Flanders; Josquin Des Prez worked for Duke Ercole for a time (producing the Missa Hercules dux Ferrariæ, which he wrote for him); Jacob Obrecht came to Ferrara twice (and died during an outbreak of plague there in 1505); and Antoine Brumel served as principal musician from 1505. Alfonso I, son of Ercole, was also an important patron; his preference for instrumental music resulted in Ferrara becoming an important center of composition for the lute. The architecture of Ferrara benefitted from the genius of Biagio Rossetti, who was asked in 1484 by Ercole I to redesign the plan of the city. The resulting "Addizione Erculea" is one of the most important and beautiful examples of renaissance city planning and contributed to the selection of Ferrara as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Alfonso married the notorious Lucrezia Borgia, and continued the war with Venice with success. In 1509 he was excommunicated by Pope Julius II, and he overcame the pontifical army in 1512 defending Ravenna.

Gaston de Foix fell in the battle, in which he was supporting Alfonso. With the succeeding popes he was able to make peace. He was the patron of Ariosto from 1518 onwards. His son Ercole II married Renée of France, daughter of Louis XII of France; he too embellished Ferrara during his reign (1534–1559).

Torquato Tasso in the St. Ann's hospital of Ferrara, by Eugène Delacroix.

His son Alfonso II married Lucrezia, daughter of grand-duke Cosimo I of Tuscany, then Barbara, sister of the emperor Maximilian II and finally Margherita Gonzaga, daughter of the duke of Mantua. He raised the glory of Ferrara to its highest point, and was the patron of Tasso, Guarini, and Cremonini – favouring, as the princes of his house had always done, the arts and sciences. During the reign of Alfonso II, Ferrara once again developed an opulent court with an impressive musical establishment, rivaled in Italy only by the adjacent city of Venice, and the traditional musical centers such as Rome, Florence and Milan. Composers such as Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Lodovico Agostini, and later Carlo Gesualdo, represented the avant-garde tendency of the composers there, writing for gifted virtuoso performers, including the famous concerto di donne — the three virtuoso female singers Laura Peverara, Anna Guarini, and Livia d'Arco. Vincenzo Galilei praised the work of Luzzaschi, and Girolamo Frescobaldi studied with him. He had no legitimate male heir, and in 1597 Ferrara was claimed as a vacant fief by Pope Clement VIII, as was also Comacchio.

Modern history

Ferrara remained a part of the Papal States from 1598 to 1859, when it became part of the Kingdom of Italy. A fortress was constructed by Pope Paul V on the site of the castle called "Castel Tedaldo", at the south-west angle of the town, that was occupied by an Austrian garrison from 1832 until 1859. All of the fortress was dismantled following the birth of the Kingdom of Italy and the bricks used for new constructions all over the town.

On August 23, 1944, the Ferrara synthetic rubber plant was a target of Strategic bombing during World War II.

Main sights

The medieval walls.
Palazzo dei Diamanti, seat of the National Gallery.
The Certosa of Ferrara.
Piazza Ariostea.

The town is still surrounded by more than 9 kilometres of ancient walls, mainly built in the 15th and 16th centuries[4] Together with those of Lucca, they are the best preserved Renaissance walls in Italy.

The most iconic building of the town is the imponent Castello Estense: sited in the very centre of the town, it's a brick building surrounded by a moat, with four massive bastions. It was built starting in 1385 and partly restored in 1554; the pavilions on the top of the towers date from the latter year.

The ancient City Hall, renovated in the 18th century, was the earlier residence of the Este family. Close by it is the former Cathedral of Saint George, begun in 1135, when the Romanesque lower part of the main façade and the side façades were completed. According to a now lost inscription the church was built in 1135 by Guglielmo I of Adelardi (d. 1146), who is buried in it. The sculpture of the main portal is the signed work of the "artifex" Nicholaus, mentioned in the lost inscription as the "architect" for the church. The upper part of the main façade, with arcades of pointed arches, dates from the 13th century, while the lower part of the protiro or projecting porch and the main portal are by Nicholaus. The recumbent lions guarding the entrance are replacements of the originals, now in the narthex of the church. The elaborate reflief sculptures depicting Last Judgement gracing the second story of the porch above date from the thirteenth century. The interior was restored in the baroque style in 1712. The campanile, in the Renaissance style, dates from 1451–1493, but the last storey was added at the end of the 16th century.

A little way off is the university, which has faculties of law, architecture, pharmacy, medicine and natural science; the library has valuable manuscripts, including part of that of the Orlando furioso and letters by Tasso. Its famous graduates include Nicolaus Copernicus (1503) and Paracelsus. Near the main university facilities it raises the University of Ferrara Botanic Garden.

Ferrara has many early Renaissance palaces, often retaining terracotta decorations; few towns of Italy as small have so many, though most are comparatively small in size. Among them may be noted those in the north quarter (especially the four at the intersection of its two main streets), which was added by Ercole I in 1492–1505, from the plans of Biagio Rossetti, and hence called the Addizione Erculea.

Among the finest palaces is Palazzo dei Diamanti (Diamond Palace), named after the diamond points into which the facade's stone blocks are cut. The palazzo houses the National Picture Gallery, with a large collection of the school of Ferrara, which first rose to prominence in the latter half of the 15th century, with Cosimo Tura, Francesco Cossa and Ercole dei Roberti. Noted masters of the 16th century School of Ferrara (Painting) include Lorenzo Costa and Dosso Dossi, the most eminent of all, Girolamo da Carpi and Benvenuto Tisi (il Garofalo).

The Casa Romei is the best preserved Reinassance building in Ferrara. It was the residence of Giovanni Romei, related to Este family by marriage to Polissena d'Este and likely the work of the court architect Pietro Bono Brasavola. It did not fall into decay because it was inherited by the nuns of the Corpus Domini order who lived there without making any changes to its structure. Much of the decoration in the inner rooms has been saved. There are fresco cycles in the Sala delle Sibille (Room of Sibyls), with its original terracotta fireplace bearing the coat of arms of Giovanni Romei, in the adjoining Saletta dei Profeti (Room of the Prophets), depicting allegories from the Bible and in other rooms, some of which were commissioned by cardinal Ippolito d'Este and painted by the school of Camillo and Cesare Filippi (16th century).

The Palazzo Schifanoia (sans souci) was built in 1385 for Alberto V d'Este. The palazzo includes frescoes depicting the life of Borso d'Este, the signs of the zodiac and allegorical representations of the months. The vestibule was decorated with stucco mouldings by Domenico di Paris. The building also contains fine choir-books with miniatures and a collection of coins and Renaissance medals.

The City Historical Archives contain a relevant amount of historical documents, starting from 15th century. The Diocesan Historical Archive is more ancient, mentioned in documents in A.D. 955, and contains precious documents collected across the centuries by the clergy.

The Corpus Domini Monastery contains tombs of the House of Este, including Alfonso I, Alfonso II, Ercole I, Ercole II, as well as Lucrezia Borgia, Eleanor of Aragon, and many more.

The Ferrara Synagogue and Jewish Museum are located in the heart of the mediæval centre, close to the cathedral and the Castello Estense. This street was part of the Jewish Quarter in which the Jews were separated from the rest of the population of Ferrara from 1627 to 1859.

Other sites include:

  • Piazza Ariostea
  • The Communal Theatre
  • The Certosa
  • The church of Santa Maria in Vado
  • The church of St. Benedict
  • The church of St. Charles
  • The church of St. Cristopher
  • The church of St. Dominic
  • The church of St. Francis
  • The church of St. George
  • The church of St. Paul
  • The church of St. Roman
  • The house of the poet Ludovico Ariosto, erected by him after 1526 and in which he died in 1532.
  • The Massari gardens
  • The monastery of Sant'Antionio in Polesine
  • The Palace of Ludovico il Moro
  • The Palazzina di Marfisa d'Este

Demographics

In 2007, there were 133,591 people residing in Ferrara, of whom 46.8% were male and 53.2% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 12.28 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 26.41 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Ferrara residents is 49 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Ferrara grew by 2.28 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent.[5] The current birth rate of Ferrara is 7.02 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births. Ferrara is known as being the oldest city with a population over 100,000, as well the city with lowest birth rate.

As of 2006, 95.59% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant group was other European nations (mostly from the Ukraine, and Albania: 2.59%) North Africa: 0.51%, and East Asia: 0.39%. Currently, one-tenth of all births has at least one foreign parent. The city is predominantly Roman Catholic, with small Orthodox Christian adherents. The historical Jewish community is still surviving.

Jewish community

The Jewish community of Ferrara is the only one in Emilia Romagna with a continuous presence from the Middle Ages to the present day. It played an important role when Ferrara enjoyed its greatest splendor in the 15th and 16th century, with the duke Ercole I d'Este. The situation of the Jews deteriorated in 1598, when the Este dynasty moved to Modena and the city came under papal control. The Jewish settlement, located in three streets forming a triangle near the cathedral, became a ghetto in 1627. Apart from a few years under Napoleon and during the 1848 revolution, the ghetto lasted until Italian unification in 1859. After racial laws of 1938 segregation was reintroduced and lasted until the end of the Nazi occupation.

In 1799, the Jewish community saved the city from sacking by troops of the Holy Roman Empire. During the spring of 1799, the city had fallen into the hands of the Republic of France, which established a small garrison there. On 15 April, Lieutenant Field Marshal Johann von Klenau approached the fortress with a modest mixed force of Austrian cavalry, artillery and infantry augmented by Italian peasant rebels, commanded by Count Antonio Bardaniand and demanded its capitulation. The commander refused. Klenau blockaded the city, leaving a small group of artillery and troops to continue the siege.[6] For the next three days, Klenau patrolled the countryside, capturing the surrounding strategic points of Lagoscuro, Borgoforte and the Mirandola fortress. The besieged garrison made several sorties from the Saint Paul's Gate, which were repulsed by the insurgent peasants. The French attempted two rescues of the beleaguered fortress: the first, on 24 April, when a force of 400 Modenese was repulsed at Mirandola. In the second, General Montrichard tried to raise the city-blockade by advancing with a force of 4,000. Finally, at the end of the month, a column lead by Pierre-Augustin Hulin reached and relieved the fortress.[7]

Klenau took possession of the town on 21 May, and garrisoned it with a light battalion. The Jewish residents of Ferrara paid 30,000 ducats to prevent the pillage of the city by Klenau's forces; this was used to pay the wages of Gardani's troops.[8] Although Klenau held the town, the French still possessed the town's fortress. After making the standard request for surrender at 0800, which was refused, Klenau ordered a barrage from his mortars and howitzers. After two magazines caught fire, the commandant was summoned again to surrender; there was some delay, but a flag of truce was sent at 2100, and the capitulation was concluded at 0100 the next day. Upon taking possession of the fortress, Klenau found 75 new artillery pieces, plus ammunition and six months worth of provisions.[9]

Culture

Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Ballons vista aerea.jpg
State Party  Italy
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii, iv, v, vi
Reference 733
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1995  (19th Session)
Extensions 1999
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Literature

The Renaissance literary men and poets Torquato Tasso (author of Jerusalem Delivered), Ludovico Ariosto (author of the romantic epic poem Orlando Furioso) and Matteo Maria Boiardo (author of the grandiose poem of chivalry and romance Orlando Innamorato), lived and worked at the court of Ferrara during the 14th and 15th century. The Ferrara Bible was a 1553 publication of the Ladino version of the Tanach used by Sephardi Jews. It was paid for and made by Yom-Tob ben Levi Athias (the Spanish Marrano Jerónimo de Vargas, as typographer) and Abraham ben Salomon Usque (the Portuguese Jew Duarte Pinhel, as translator), and was dedicated to Ercole II d'Este. In the 20th century Ferrara was the home and workplace of writer Giorgio Bassani, well-known for his novels that were often adapted for cinema (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Long Night in 1943). In historical fiction, British author Sarah Dunant set her 2009 novel Sacred Hearts in a convent in Ferrara.

Painting

During the Reinassance, the Este House, well known for its partonage of the arts, wellcame a great number of artists, especially painters, that formed the so-called School of Ferrara. The astounding list of painters and artists includes the names of Andrea Mantegna, Vicino da Ferrara, Giovanni Bellini, Leon Battista Alberti, Pisanello, Piero della Francesca, Battista Dossi, Dosso Dossi, Cosmé Tura, Francesco del Cossa and Titian. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Ferrara hosted and inspired a number of important painters who grew fond of its eerie atmosphere: among them Giovanni Boldini, Filippo de Pisis and Giorgio de Chirico.

Religion

Ferrara gave birth to Girolamo Savonarola, the famous medieval Dominican priest and leader of Florence from 1494 until his execution in 1498. He was known for his book burning, destruction of what he considered immoral art, and hostility to the Renaissance. He vehemently preached against the moral corruption of much of the clergy at the time, and his main opponent was Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia).

Music

The Ferrarese musician Girolamo Frescobaldi was one of the most important composers of keyboard music in the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods. His masterpiece Fiori musicali (Musical Flowers) is a collection of liturgical organ music first published in 1635. It became the most famous of Frescobaldi's works and was studied centuries after his death by numerous composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach[10][11]

Cinema

Ferrara is the birthplace and childhood home of the well-known Italian film director, Michelangelo Antonioni. The town of Ferrara was also the setting of the famous film The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Vittorio De Sica in (1970), that tells the vicissitudes of a rich Jewish family during the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini and World War II. Furthermore, Wim Wenders and Michelangelo Antonioni's Beyond the Clouds in (1995) and Ermanno Olmi's The Profession of Arms in (2001), a film about the last days of Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, were also shot in Ferrara.

Festivals

The Palio of St. George is a typical medieval festival held every last Sunday of May. The Buskers Festival is a non-competitive parade of the best street musicians in the world. In terms of tradition and dimension it is the most important festival in the world of this kind. Additionally, Ferrara is becoming the Italian capital of hot air balloons, thanks to the ten-day-long Ferrara Balloons Festival, the biggest celebration of balloons in Italy and one of the largest in Europe.

Sport

Ferrara's local football team, Società Polisportiva Ars Et Labor 1907 is going to play in Lega Pro Prima Divisione (former Serie C1), which is the third highest football league in Italy. The local basketball team, Carife Ferrara, have been doing considerably better; they won the 2007-08 title in the second-level LegADue, thereby earning promotion to Serie A.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Ferrara is twinned with:

Politics

The last municipal elections was held on June 21 and 22, 2009, resulting in the election of Tiziano Tagliani (Democratic Party) as Mayor of the city of Ferrara. The division of the 40 seats in the city council is as followed:

Notes

  1. ^ "Ferrara inaugurates a partnership with the Hermitage museum in exhibition of works by Il Garofalo". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/18/arts/18iht-raagarofalo.4.12142266.html. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  2. ^ The See was moved here from Vicohabentia (Voghenza) in 624 (Chronology of Catholic dioceses: Italy).
  3. ^ http://www.sitiunesco.it/index.phtml?id=531
  4. ^ Ferrare city website.
  5. ^ "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT". Demo.istat.it. http://demo.istat.it/bil2007/index.html. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  6. ^ Colonel Danilo Oreskovich and 1,300 Croatians of the 2nd Banat battalion, 4,000 Ferrarese auxiliary troops commanded by Count Antonio Gardani, and several hundred local peasants commanded by Major Angelo Pietro Poli. Acerbi. The 1799 Campaign in Italy: Klenau and Ott Vanguards and the Coalition’s Left Wing April – June 1799.
  7. ^ Acerbi, The 1799 Campaign in Italy: Klenau and Ott Vanguards and the Coalition’s Left Wing April – June 1799.
  8. ^ Accerbi reports that wages were the equivalent of a daily intake of 21 "Baiocchi" in cash and four in bread. Acerbi, The 1799 Campaign in Italy: Klenau and Ott Vanguards and the Coalition’s Left Wing April – June 1799.
  9. ^ Acerbi, The 1799 Campaign in Italy: Klenau and Ott Vanguards and the Coalition’s Left Wing April – June 1799; Klenau's force included a battalion of light infantry, a couple battalions of border infantry, a squadron of the Nauendorf Hussars (8th Hussars), and approximately 4,000 armed peasants. For details on Austrian force, see Smith, Ferrara, Data Book, p. 156. Klenau's force also captured 75 guns from the fortress.
  10. ^ Paul Badura-Skoda. "Interpreting Bach at the Keyboard", p. 259. Translated by Alfred Clayton. Oxford University Press, 1995, 592 p. ISBN 0198165765.
  11. ^ John Butt. "The Cambridge Companion to Bach", p. 139. Cambridge University Press, 1997, 342 p. ISBN 0521587808
  12. ^ "Fraternity cities on Sarajevo Official Web Site". © City of Sarajevo 2001-2008. http://www.sarajevo.ba/en/stream.php?kat=147. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  13. ^ "Friendship and co-operation agreement between the towns of Tartu and Ferrara". © City of Tartu 2002-2009. http://tartu.ee/?lang_id=2&menu_id=13&page_id=503. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  14. ^ "Žilina - oficiálne stránky mesta: Partnerské mestá Žiliny [Žilina: Official Partner Cities"]. © 2008 MaM Multimedia, s.r.o... http://www.zilina.sk/mesto-zilina-o-meste-partnerske-mesta. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Emilia-Romagna : Ferrara
Contents

Ferrara is a city in Italy.

The Cathedral
The Cathedral
The Este Castle
The Este Castle
Palazzo dei Diamanti
Palazzo dei Diamanti
Medieval Walls
Medieval Walls
Via delle Volte
Via delle Volte
Piazza Ariostea
Piazza Ariostea
Piazza Municipale
Piazza Municipale
Volto del Cavallo
Volto del Cavallo
Medieval Walls
Medieval Walls
Palazzo Prosperi
Palazzo Prosperi
Particular of the Cathedral
Particular of the Cathedral
Corso Ercole I° d'Este
Corso Ercole I° d'Este

Understand

Although it certainly has a thriving tourism industry, Ferrara is not on the typical foreign tourist's itinerary, which makes it perfect for those tourists who want to get off the beaten path of Venice-Florence-Rome and soak in some authentic northern Italian culture. It's characterized by twisting medieval cobblestoned streets, a Duomo (cathedral) with a looming Gothic facade, and--best of all--a castle straight out of storybooks, complete with towers, moat, and drawbridges (that you can cross during the day).

Thanks to the d'Este family of astute art patrons, Ferrara contains many beautiful objects de arte, but the genuine masterpiece is the city itself. Half medieval, half Renaissance, the dual cityscape was the vision of oligarch Ercole d'Este, who hired architect Biagio Rossetti to seamlessly meld the newer section to the old. This careful planning earned Ferrara the title of Italy's first "modern city." Today, its captivating, anachronistic ambience is best explored on foot or by bicycle.

Touring the sites will occupy a day, but after that the best way to experience Ferrara is to relax at one (or several) of its cafes and enjoy la vita italiana going on around you.

  • By train The easiest option. Ferrara is on the line that runs from Florence to Bologna to Venice, and thus makes an easy day trip on your travels to the more heavily touristy sites. -From Bologna: 0.5-1 hr, €3-€7. -From Florence: 2-3 hr, €8-€20. -From Venice: 1.5-2.5 hr, €6-€12
  • Take your cue from the locals and rent a bike (at the train station, near the Duomo or interurban companies). Everyone bikes in Ferrara--old ladies in fur coats, mothers and fathers each with a babyseat on the back, studentessas in skirts and stillettos, even the police officers themselves. It's really the most convenient way to get around this city made up of a twisting maze of cobblestone streets.
  • Palazzo dei Diamanti, 21 Corso Ercole d'Este, 44100 Ferrara, +39 0532 205844 (), [1]. open Tue, Wed, Fri-Sun, 09:00-14:00, Thurs, 09:00-19:00.  edit
  • Il Castello Estense, [2]. open Tues-Sun, 09:30-17:30, closed Mon. Don't miss the delightfully medieval dungeons.  edit
  • Take a stroll or a bike-ride around the walls, either on the path that runs on top, or on the sidewalks in the park that runs around nearly the entire circumference. Good access at the end of Corso Ercole d'Este or of Via Quartieri.
  • Ferrara is a fairly well-to-do northern Italian city and predictably has a good number of clothing shops, ranging from budget-fashion Zara to small, expensive boutiques. The main shopping districts are Via Mazzini (the street leading from Piazza Trento-Trieste where the campanile and Mel Books is) and Via Garibaldi (the street leading from inside the Palazzo Municipio), as well as the whole center of the city around the Castello.
  • Every Saturday morning there is an open-air market set up in Piazza Trento-Trieste with a changing weekly theme--ranging from furniture to antiques to clothes to food and produce. One night a week the same piazza is devoted to an open-air candy market.
  • Stop by Ferrara Frutta (the best one is on the very end of Via Garibaldi), a co-op that sells fresh local produce of excellent quality for very low prices.

Eat

...Pasta: [Note: Do not leave Ferrara without trying its trademark cappellacci di zucca (round pasta stuffed with squash/pumpkin), either "al burro e salvia" (with butter and sage) or "al ragu" (with meat sauce).]

  • Il Brindisi: Wooden, atmospheric, and crammed with dusty wine bottles, this charming enoteca has not only of being the oldest winebar in Europe but also as having had Copernicus as a tenant while he was a student in Ferrara. Although most come at night to drink, they also serve exclusively Ferrarese fare such as pasticcio and cappellacci di zucca for dinner (the portions are small, so make sure to eat a real Italian meal and order both a primo and a secondo).
  • Il Cucco: Located on a backstreet near Via delle Volte, at Via Voltecasotto 3, this charming and inexpensive trattoria offers a variety of local Ferrarese specialties. Garden seating available in warmer weather. [3]
  • Osteria Savanarola: Located right next to the Savonarola statue, this restaurant offers a good selection of traditional Ferrarese fare.

...Pizza: [Note: In Italy it is customary for each person to order a whole pizza for him or herself. The crusts are thin, so one pizza is almost exactly enough for a filling dinner for one person. Generally cheaper than a full-course meal, perfect for students.]

  • Il Ciclone: Located upstairs in an alley (Via Vignatagliata) just off Via Mazzini, this friendly restaurant offers regular meals but its specialty is pizza.
  • Al Frattino: Follow Via Mazzini as it turns into Via Saraceno and turn onto Via Porta San Pietro at the top. On the corner of San Pietro and Via Carlo Mayr is a small, unremarkable-looking Sicilian pizzeria which serves without a doubt the best pizza in town. Try the "Diablo" and make sure to chat with the friendly owners, even if it's in sign language.

Bar Settimo in Via Cortevecchia. Don't be put off by the dingy bar at the front. At the back is one of the friendliest restaurants in Italy, presided over by the splendid Norberto. The food is simple but excellent and not at all expensive. Pizzas and Salama da Sugo con Pure are particularly good. For years it has been the favourite watering hole for performers at the Teatro Communale and Ferrara Musica. After concerts the place is very lively and, unusually for Ferrara, it closes late.

...Panini and Piadine:

[Note: In Italian, a "piadina" is the type of pressed, flatbread sandwich that is known in the United States as the "panini." Actual "panini" (singular "panino") are merely normal sandwiches.]

  • the Piadina stand: A little on the costly side, but for a quick bite head down Via Garibaldi to the piadina stand across from the Indian restaurant. Don't forget to try the perfectly cooked french fries.
  • Birreria Giori -It's the bar that looks a little like a greenhouse set up right against the moat with tables outside. With a "make your own panino" option on the menu, friendly waiters, and an ideal location literally in the shadow of the Castello, it makes a perfect lunch stop.

...non-Italian fare

  • The Chinese restaurants are mediocre to inedible, but the Indian restaurant on Via Garibaldi is in fact quite good, even by non-Italy standards.
  • Agapi mou on Via Saraceno is a small Greek restaurant with decent Greek food, though a bit pricey for the amount.
  • The Piazza - If you're in Ferrara on a fair Wednesday night, do yourself a favor and go out to the main piazza. There you will find every young person in the city (and some older ones too) out socializing at the piazza in front of the looming Duomo facade with beer in hand (acquired at Settimo or Bar del Duomo for just around €2-4). An experience not to be missed.
  • Tsunami - Located at Via Savanarola 2, just down the street from the University. Very popular with the students, packed most weekend and Wednesday nights, also Tuesday nights which are traditionally "Erasmus Night," dedicated to the many foreign students who spend the semester or year here.
  • L'Anima Latina - If you can find it in the backstreets (Via Ragno 35/37), this bar has a lively atmosphere...not to mention the board games.
  • I Contrari - For those who want to skip the standing-in-a-packed-bar student experience, this friendly, laidback bar is located just behind Mel Bookstore at Via Contrari 52. Don't be afraid to try the mysteriously blue drink "La Muerte," which has a description that reads "di tutto un po'" ("a little bit of everything").
  • Il Brindisi - The oldest enoteca in Europe that can boast of having had Copernicus as a tenant when he was a student in Ferrara. Located at Via degli Adelardi, the street just to the left of the Duomo.
  • Maracaibo - Located just around the corner from Mel Bookstore, this bar is the best place for l'aperitivo in Ferrara, mainly due to the fact that a single drink will also get you a plateful of fantastic appetizers, out of which cheapskate students know they can make a dinner.
  • Casa degli Artisti - Respectable pensione located at Via Della Vittoria 66, a cobblestoned side street just off Via Mazzini. Clean, serviceable rooms at economic rates (around €25-30 per night), but beware of the curfew. No guests allowed upstairs.
  • Hotel Centro Storico - Located at Via Vegri 15, a side-street off the popular Via Garibaldi. Central location and very cheap at around €20 a night, no reception after 8PM. Rooms are clean enough with shared bathrooms, but very Spartan. The other clientele can be described as questionable at best. Not recommended for single females, though this one survived it for four nights.
  • Hotel San Girolamo dei Gesuiti - A renovated monastery at Via Madama 40/a, just around the corner from the main section of the University, a pleasant 5-10 minute walk from the central piazza. Friendly and available service, complimentary breakfast as well as an attached restaurant, and the rooms are simple but lovely and clean. Well worth the price at €42/night for a single, €78/night for a double.
  • Il Giardinetto Rooms - A Charming Room & Breakfast in the Historical Centre of Ferrara - [4].
  • Hotel De Prati - Just in front to the Castle, about 15 minutes walk form the train station. Charming Hotel tel. +39 (0)532241905 e-mail : info@hoteldeprati.com - [5].
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

FERRARA, a city and archiepiscopal see of Emilia, Italy, capital of the province of Ferrara, 30 m. N.N.E. of Bologna, situated 30 ft. above sea-level on the Po di Vomano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po, which is 3z m. N. Pop. (1901) 32,968 (town), 86,392 (commune). The town has broad streets and numerous palaces, which date from the 16th century, when it was the seat of the court of the house of Este, and had, it is said, ioo,000 inhabitants.

The most prominent building is the square castle of the house of Este, in the centre of the town, a brick building surrounded by a moat, with four towers. It was built after 1385 and partly restored in 1554; the pavilions on the top of the towers date from the latter year. Near it is the hospital of S. Anna, where Tasso was confined during his attack of insanity (1579-1586). The Palazzo del Municipio, rebuilt in the 18th century, was the earlier residence of the Este family. Close by is the cathedral of S. Giorgio, consecrated in 1135, when the Romanesque lower part of the main façade and the side facades were completed. It was built by Guglielmo degli Adelardi (d. 1146), who is buried in it. The upper part of the main facade, with arcades of pointed arches, dates from the 13th century, and the portal has recumbent lions and elaborate sculptures above. The interior was restored in the baroque style in 1712. The campanile, in the Renaissance style, dates from 1451-1493, but the last storey was added at the end of the 16th century. Opposite the cathedral is the Gothic Palazzo della Ragione, in brick (1315-1326), now the law-courts. A little way off is the university, which has faculties of law, medicine and natural science (hardly too students in all); the library has valuable MSS., including part of that of the Orlando Furioso and letters by Tasso. The other churches are of less interest than the cathedral, though S. Francesco, S. Benedetto, S. Maria in Vado and S. Cristoforo are all good early Renaissance buildings. The numerous early Renaissance palaces, often with good terra-cotta decorations, form quite a feature of Ferrara; few towns of Italy have so many of them proportionately, though they are mostly comparatively small in size. Among them may be noted those in the N. quarter (especially the four at the intersection of its two main streets), which was added by Ercole (Hercules) I. in 1492-1505, from the plans of Biagio Rossetti, and hence called the "Addizione Erculea." The finest of these is the Palazzo de' Diamanti, so called from the diamond points into which the blocks of stone with which it is faced are cut. It contains the municipal picture gallery, with a large number of pictures of artists of the school of Ferrara. This did not require prominence until the latter half of the 15th century, when its best masters were Cosimo Tura (1432-1495), Francesco Cossa (d. 1480) and Ercole dei Roberti (d. 1496). To this period are due famous frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia, which was built by the Este family; those of the lower row depict the life of Borso of Este, in the central row are the signs of the zodiac, and in the upper are allegorical representations of the months. The vestibule was decorated with stucco mouldings by Domenico di Paris of Padua. The building also contains fine choir-books with miniatures, and a collection of coins and Renaissance medals. The simple house of Ariosto, erected by himself after 1526, in which he died in 1532, lies farther west. The best Ferrarese masters of the 16th century of the Ferrara school were Lorenzo Costa (1460-1535), and Doss° Dossi (1479-1542), the most eminent of all, while Benvenuto Tisi (Garofalo, 1481-1559) is somewhat monotonous and insipid.

The origin of Ferrara is uncertain, and probabilities are against the supposition that it occupies the site of the ancient Forum Alieni. It was probably a settlement formed by the inhabitants of the lagoons at the mouth of the Po. It appears first in a document of Aistulf of 753 or 754 as a city forming part of the exarchate of Ravenna. After 984 we find it a fief of Tedaldo, count of Modena and Canossa, nephew of the emperor Otho I. It afterwards made itself independent, and in no' was taken by siege by the countess Matilda. At this time it was mainly dominated by several great families, among them the Adelardi.

In 1146 Guglielmo, the last of the Adelardi, died, and his property passed, as the dowry of his niece Marchesella, to Azzolino d'Este. There was considerable hostility between the newly entered family and the Salinguerra, but after considerable struggles Azzo Novello was nominated perpetual podesta in 12 4 2; in 1259 he took Ezzelino of Verona prisoner in battle. His grandson, Obizzo II. (1264-1293), succeeded him, and the pope nominated him captain-general and defender of the states of the Church; and the house of Este was from henceforth settled in Ferrara. Niccolo III. (1393-1441) received several popes with great magnificence, especially Eugene IV., who held a council here in 1438. His son Borso received the fiefs of Modena and Reggio from the emperor Frederick III. as first duke in 1452 (in which year Girolamo Savonarola was born here), and in 1470 was made duke of Ferrara by Pope Paul II. Ercole I. (1471-1505) carried on a war with Venice and increased the magnificence of the city. His son Alphonso I. married Lucrezia Borgia, and continued the war with Venice with success. In 1509 he was excommunicated by Julius II., and attacked the pontifical army in 1512 outside Ravenna, which he took. Gaston de Foix fell in the battle, in which he was supporting Alphonso. With the succeeding popes he was able to make peace. He was the patron of Ariosto from 1518 onwards. His son Ercole II. married Renata, daughter of Louis XII. of France; he too embellished Ferrara during his reign (1534-1559). His son Alphonso II. married Barbara, sister of the emperor Maximilian II. He raised the glory of Ferrara to its highest point, and was the patron of Tasso and Guarini, favouring, as the princes of his house had always done, the arts and sciences. He had no legitimate male heir, and in 1597 Ferrara was claimed as a vacant fief by Pope Clement VIII., as was also Comacchio. A fortress was constructed by him on the site of the castle of Tedaldo, at the W. angle of the town. The town remained a part of the states of the Church, the fortress being occupied by an Austrian garrison from 1832 until 1859, when it became part of the kingdom of Italy.

A considerable area within the walls of Ferrara is unoccupied by buildings, especially on the north, where the handsome Renaissance church of S. Cristoforo, with the cemetery, stands; but modern times have brought a renewal of industrial activity. Ferrara is on the main line from Bologna to Padua and Venice, and has branches to Ravenna and Poggio Rusco (for Suzzara).

See G. Agnelli, Ferrara e Pomposa (Bergamo, 1902); E. G. Gardner, Dukes and Poets of Ferrara (London, 1904).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Proper noun

Singular
Ferrara

Plural
-

Ferrara

  1. Province of Emilia-Romagna, Italy.
  2. City, archbishopric and capital of Ferrara.

Translations

  • French: Ferrare (1, 2)
  • Italian: Ferrara (1) , Ferrara (2) f.

Italian

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Italian Wikipedia has an article on:
Ferrara

Wikipedia it

Proper noun

Ferrara f.

  1. Ferrara (province)
  2. Ferrara (town)

Derived terms


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Franco Ferrara article)

From Wikispecies

Franco Ferrara


Simple English

Ferrara is a city in Northern Italy. About 130,000 people live in Ferrara. The city was owned by the Este family during medieval times. The current mayor is Tiziano Tagliani.

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