Walking the Via Volte
One of the most striking streets of Ferrara and one of its symbols (over 2 kms long, it is one of the longest still existing medieval streets in Europe). In the Medieval city, much of the commercial activity took place here. All along the narrow road there are still ancient arches (called 'volte'), which used to join the merchants' houses on the southern side to their warehouses, which were on the northern side.
At that time, the street ran in parallel to the banks of the River Po. Today the streets Carlo Mavr and Ripagrande parallels where the busy port of Ferrara was.
Via delle Volte dates back to 1135.
I suggest that you walk all along this Street. There is an easy way to establish the age of the "volte". The ones with lancet arches are more ancient. Those with round-headed arches are more recent.
While walking Via Volte, I went to the right down a narrow lane. At the end of it was a building (probably someone's apartment) and a small window with shutters had the laundry hanging from it.
I feel that it makes a great photograph to show that even today dryers are seldom used. This is true throughout Italy.
There were so many opportunities for great photography walking the Via Volte.
City of Extremes
Please click on photos to see these extremes.
We had been in Ferrara for about two days when I discovered the oldest Osteria in Ferrara (500 years old!). I took a photograph.It is called "Al Brindisi".
About two blocks away, there is a rather new McDonalds that is two stories high. It is in a former Palazzo! It is always very crowded with locals, not tourists!
When it suddenly dawned on me, I realized that I had photographs of the two extremes in this lovely city. Seeing them in the images side by side, one knows that no matter what, the Western influence is encroaching on even the most medieval of cities.5s*
- Historical Travel
War Hero Memorial in Ferrara
Very near the Castle at the corner of a shopping area, we spied a beautiful memorial to heroes. It is quite unusual.
On one brick wall is eight rows of photographs of World War I Heroes. We looked at them, and many of the men/boys were quite young, as young as 12. In the center of this area was a fantastic huge sculpture of Victory...the woman with wings. Her arms are folded around herself in a protective stance, which no doubts symbolizes the protection of the troops.
The room is vaulted and has dark blue with gold stars. It is quite impression, and I have never seen a memorial such as this.
- Historical Travel
Monte di Pieta
Monte di Pieta (a mount of piety) was institutional pawnbroker run as a charity, it could also be called Banco dei Pegni (pawn bank). Actually, it was public office organized and operated by Christians, offering financial loans at a moderate interest to those in need. The first institution of Monte di Pieta was born in Spain, in the first half of 15th century.
Monte di Pieta of Ferrara was founded in 1507 by Dominican priest Fra Lorenzo da Bergamo, supported and protected by family Este and the cardinal of Ferrara. After the unification of Italy all pawn banks were reorganized under the name Cassa di Risparmio.
The present look of palace Monte di Pieta in Ferrara was built by the architect Agapito Poggi, between 1756 and 1761.
Can't tell anything about this house, not even the name of it or when was built. It obviously belong to a medieval period of Ferrara and d'Este rules of the town. As far as I remember the house is located in the area where Corpus Domini s stituated.
The house captured my attention by the simplicity of its forms which is in the perfect harmony with the ambience and yet exceptionally beautiful. The fine example of the beauty in the simplicity.
I suppose we all, memers of VT, are somehow cloned when writing reports from our travellings, in particularly if the tip is about ancient or medieval times structure. I guess it's because when strolling in some town we are "armed" with the city maps and brochures which indicating what to see, where it is located and whats the name of the structure. But what if the sight of our unexpected interest isnt listed?
There are so many sights which captured our attention and yet, not a word of them could be found in the brochures. Ferrara is small town, fortunatelly, and this beautiful arched house wont be lost for you, when exploring the old core of the town.
Synagogue of Ferrara - Scola Tedesca
Scola Tedesca, in Via Mazzini 95, is the only surviving of the several synagogues that once flourished in Ferrara. It is located in the historic Jewish building from 1421. It would seem that Jews excisted in Ferrara in 1088, but only under the Dukes of Este in the 15th century the community developed rapidly.
The building also houses a Jewish Museum nowadays. There used to be other two synagogues in Via Mazzini but demolished by fascists during WW II. The museum displays the Torah Ark of the Scola Italiana and the several other Torah Arks from the former synagogues in surrounding towns, which however diappeared during Big War.
Church of San Giorgio
This church, located outside the city center to the south east across the river, dates back to the 10th century. Dedicated to the cities patron saint, it was Ferrara’s city cathedral until the 12th century. The facade has large relief of Saint George Slaying the Dragon. A look inside reveals some beautiful frescos by Francesco Ferrari and some other works of art by notable artists.
The church also has a Monetary and the beautiful cloisters are worth a visit if open.
We caught the end of a wedding on our trip (2nd photo)
When you visit Castello Estense..
Don't forget to buy a ticket to go to the top of Torre dei leoni (Lyon's Tower). This special tower give you the chance to see ferrara from a very high point of you. The ticket costs 1 euro and you can buy it while you are buying tickets for Museum.
Este's Castle Dungeons
The thing that impressed me really much are the written walls that I saw down in the dungeons of the castle. Prisonners were used to leave a trace of their lifes, writing something on the walls. If you have time to read some words in latin, you will find a sentence written in 1597. Impressive!
Via delle Volte
Via delle Volte is probably one of the most interesting streets of the town. Along this street you can see many arches which connected the buildings of the two sides of the street. You can find this street on the left side of Corso Porta Reno toward the Cathedral.
- Historical Travel
In front of the Chiesa di San Carlo you can see the theatre built at the end of the 18th century of the project of Morelli and Foschini. Very interesting is the oval courtyard for the carriages.
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.
Chiesa dei Teatini
A smaller, really funny looking church. I mean, I probably would not have taken it for one had I not known it was a church beforehand. No offence meant, though, because the place's nice.
The church was built in the first half of 17th century according to designs by architect Luca Danesi. The facade's incomplete, and that's why the church looks kind of funny. I read it was to be covered in marble: I wonder how it would have looked then?
The frescoes inside are, by contrast, very much complete, among them the cycles by Clemente Majoli - and these date back to the later part of the 17th century. Also see the "Purificazione della Vergine" (or 'Purification of the Virgin Mary'), by Guercino (year 1634).
The Coat-of-Arms of Ferrara
The coat of arms of the Comune di Ferrara is that of the family that ruled the area for many centuries, the Este family. The partition of the field is parted horizontally, with the upper part Argent (Silver/White) and the lower part Sable (Black).
- Arts and Culture
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