So Many Monuments, Palazzoes, and Museums
So much to see in Ferrara; here's a summary.
Casa Romei: Via Savonarola 30. Beautiful Renaissance house built for Giovanni Romei. Now part of monastery Corpus Domini
Certosa: Viale della Certosa. Former Carthusian monastery dates to 1462. Converted to city cemetery.
Church of San Benedetto, Piazzale S. Benedetto. Church almost destroyed during WWII. Rebuilt after 1950.
Church di San Giorgio, Piazzale S. Giorgio. 1st cathedral of Ferrara. Great frescoes.
Church di Santa Maria in Vado, Via Borgovado. Ancient church with "Temple of the Holy Blood" where on Easter day, 1171, vault of church was stained with blood which spurted out of the Host.
Ghetto e Sinagoghe (Ghetto and Synagogues) The Jewish community flourished until the end of 16th century. Papal government in the 1600's shut the Jews in a ghetto & made them wear badges. (lasted two centuries).
The Walls..town surrounded by walls where you can walk or bike. Start from Porta Paula or Porta Reno.
a. Palazzina Marfisa d'Este (C.so Giovecca 170)
b. Palazzo Bonacossi (Via Cisterna del Follo, 5)
c. Palazzo Costabili (Via XX Settembre, 124)
d. Palazzo di Giulio d'Este (c.soErcoleI d'Este,16)
e. Palazzo Naselli-Crispi (Via Borgo dei Leoni, 28)
f. Palazzo Paradiso (Via delle Science, 17)
City Library now
Piazza Ariostea: In this square on the last Sunday of May, the "Palio" is run.
Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (Gallery of Modern & Contemporary Art) Internationally famous for temporary exhibitions.
Civic Museums of Ancient Art & Medieval Art (Via Scandiana 23) famous for its "Hall of Months" that has some of Italy's most important frescoes of the 15th century.
National Archaeological Museum (Via XX Settembre, 124) Findings from Greek-Etruscan city of Spina.
Botanical Garden (Corso porta Mare, 2) Over 1,7000 species of plants.
Palazzina Marfisa d'Este (Corso Giovecca, 170) Furniture museum This is just a smattering of what is here.
But, my favorite times in Ferrara were the times we walked the streets, talked with locals, ate local cuisine, and "soaked" up the atmosphere that is uniquely Ferrara.
The bicycle centre
Ferrara has pushbikes. Lots of pushbikes. So many at times you feel almost threatened by them. Though, it should be said that, as a pushbike racer myself, all I wanted to do was get on one myself! The word "envy" sprang readily to mind.
This shot is taken in the Piazza del Municipo.
History and Custom Merge with Cuisine
Ferrara's interesting foods with unusual histories:
Bologna, Modena, & Ferrara compete about the origin of "tagliatelle's". Ferrara claims when Lucrezia Borgia entered Ferrara to marry Alfonso d'Este, the duke's cook was inspired by her long blonde hair & invented "tagliatelle" to mimic it.
Legend said "Cappelletti" (small hat-shaped ravioli with meat stuffing) is a mixture of love & sensuality. Venus, woke up in an inn, rang the bell, & the cook appeared. He was shocked by the sight of her naked body ; he imitated her navel; thus, "Cappelletti"!
The Bread (Ciupeta)
In the 16th century, the Dukes of Ferrara led a luxurious court life. The Dukes' cook served for the first time a kind of twisted bread, the birth of "Ciupeta", whose shape is a combination of male & female sexual symbols.
Undisputed origin says that one day the cook of Duchess Lucrezia Borgia was inspired by a strange hat of his mistress & created these hat-shaped ravioli. They are larger than Cappelletti & a stuffing made of sweet squash mixed with parmisan cheese, nutmeg, & salt. They are served with either sage flavored melted butter or pork ragout.
The Maccaroni PIe
In the 17th century in a monastery of Ferrara the nuns invented this pie & gave it the shape of a priest's hat. It is now one of the symbols of the local cuisine.. a sweet crust with stuffing made of maccaroni, mushrooms, butter, garlic, truffle, bechamel & a veal, chicken & beef ragout and then baked.
Ferrarese Salama is made of pork meat, liver & tongue mixed with red wine & drops of Marsala or cognac, pepper, cinnamon, & clove. Then left for one year hung in a dark, ventilated room, then boiled in water for 4 hours.
Another 17th invention by the nuns , it is the shape of a zucchetto (ecclesiastic hat). Made of wheat flour, sugar or honey, almonds, bitter & sweet cocoa powders, orange, tangerine & lemon peels, cinnamon, clove & candied fruit.
Via XX Settembre - via Ghiara
At first, it was called via della Ghiaia, of which it was the continuation. Once this course was the one where the river Po crossed Ferrara. The name we call the street now reminds of the event called Breccia di Porta Pia, which, indeed, happened on Sep. 20, year 1870 in Rome. Along the route there are Palace of Ludovico il Moro, where the Spina museum is located; the house of Biagio Rossetti, containing the Museum of Architecture; the churches of Santa Francesca Romana and Sant'Apollonia.
This large Oval piazza is named after the poet Ludovico Ariosto, whose statue stands at the centre on a column. The design of the Piazza was done by the architect Biagio Rossetti. The piazza is also bordered by two of Rossetti's palaces now.
This is the sight of Ferrara’s Palio horse race. Accompanied by much festivities and flag throwing competitions, it is held here every may. You’ve surly heard of Siena’s Palio, but I have read that Ferrara’s is Italy’s oldest (it was made official in 1279)
We did a couple laps on our Bikes; the piazza looks like a good spot for a picnic.