I went to Ferrara by train.
I had to take some trains to get there. I live in northern Italy, so it was better for me to take a train to Bassano del Grappa and another train to Padova from there. There are direct trains from Padova to Ferrara every day. The journey between these two towns lasts around one hour.
I could have gone to Ferrara taking a train from Trento to Bologna and from this town to Ferrara. This way my journey would have been a bit longer.
Rent a Bicycle is the easiest way around
Once you enter Ferrara the first thing you see is the signboard as you enter the city, "cittadelle biciclette. Ferrara is the city of cyclists. A wave of cycling meets you when you leave the Ferrara Station. It seems like Amsterdam in miniature. That's not surprising, because Ferrara is the second cycling city in the world. Any resident owns an average of 2.7 bicycles. So if you are one of those bike lover Ferrara is the right place
Ferrara long remained far behind compared to other Italian cities. There lived mostly farmers and they chose forced the bike over the car. Therefore the city remained free of motorways, which also all the historic buildings have been preserved. Later, the need for Ferrara has made a virtue and chose to keep out cars and preserve the historic center.
Does your bike move unexpectedly, No worries. The bicycle in the city wall in Piazza Travaglio offers solace. You can buy bikes, rent and let repair. Or let your band pumping for fifty cents. Take your cue from the locals and rent a bike (at the train station, near the Duomo or inter urban companies). Everyone bikes in Ferrara old ladies in fur coats, mothers and fathers each with a babyseat on the back, student 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.
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
- Museum Visits
Park your car in parking lot
We have a car during our visit to Ferrara, but we couldn't use this in town center, the center of Ferrara is pedestrianized either we walk or hire a bike. So we have to leave our car outside the center in one of the parking space. There are also free parking outside town if you got lucky, but this is mostly full, local people use free parking, but it you can't find a space outside you'll have to drive thru this parking garage.
This parking lot is very close to centro historico (town center) if you leave your car here a whole day, it ain't cheap but at least is safe. You drive thru to a barrier and there is a machine on the driver side which you push a button to release a ticket, in the ticket it's indicate the time you're in. Keep the ticket never lost it. You will need it to get out with the ticket, without the ticket you stuck inside.
Coming back afterwards, you will have to go to a vending machine with your ticket, insert the ticket to a vending machine and it'll stated on the machine how much you pay. So you will have little idea how long you'll be gone, is 0.80 cents euro for an hour. The machine only accept cash coins or bill. It is handy to have small coin or small bill. On the card it says Sunday and public holidays are free to park, we visited Ferrara on a Sunday but we still have to pay, we didn't understand why?
- Castles and Palaces
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Visit Ferrara on foot
The best way to visit Ferrara is on foot, if you don't mind walking a little. All palaces and churches are quite close to the centre, i.e. to the Castle and the Cathedral.
While you are walking, even in pedestrian streets, pay great attention to the cyclists. Ferrara is the city of bikes: cyclists drive anywhere and don't care about pedestrians at all.
Another word on train travel...
I suggest you take time to read a map ahead of boarding your train. Familiarize yourself with the route you might be taking, then check the large train schedules located throughout every station for the departure times. Note the various stops along the way. This is helpful to know you are on the right train, especially at night. If you sit in the middle section, then you will be able to read the station names as you arrive. It simply helps to relieve panic. We know, we've experienced it.
On the large black departure board within the station, the final destination of your train is shown, which may not necessarily be your destination. Check your departure time, compare it, and note the 'binario' (track) it departs from. Remember, the time shown is DEPARTURE TIME.
Validate your ticket in the yellow boxes found both in the station, and outside each set of steps leading to the various tracks, as failure to do so might cost you a hefty fine. Overhead on each binario you will see an arrivals board specific to your platform. Other trains may arrive before yours, so watch it carefully. Your train will be shown on the board before it arrives at the station. If your train is running late, the delay will be shown in minutes in the 'rit' slot on this same board.
Verbal arrivals and departures are continuously announced in a very garbled manner, and always in Italian. If you see a vast number of fellow commuters on your platform suddenly moving towards the stairs, odds are your departure platform has just been changed. Be aware you have little notice of this change (5 minutes max), and it is your responsibility to make yourself aware. Trenitalia takes no responsibility whatsoever for this mishap.
Every car has the class of service written on the side of the car, a big '1' for First Class, and a number '2' for Second Class.
- Budget Travel
Trenitalia to Ferrara
We don't own a vehicle, so train travel has become our preferred method of transportation through default. We never travel 1st Class, finding little need for it, nor do we book the EuroStar. EuroStar is consistantly late, plus way over priced, at least by 40% compared to Trenitalia's 2nd Class service.
We find the trains to be very efficient, generally clean, usually on time, often crowded, but worth every penny we pay. 2nd Class requires no pre-booking, no reserved seating, no real planning. You simply show up.
A suggestion when boarding with a companion, have one person carry the bulk of the luggage, and send the more agile, agressive person ahead to secure seats. In Italy there is no real concept of standing in line. Expect to be pushed and have others cut in front of you. The only remedy is to do exactly the same thing, and don't give way to the seemingly infirm. Often it is an act, and a very effective one at that. When in doubt however...
Our trip to Ferrara cost 4.30 euro one way, for one person from Padova. The trip takes a bit more than an hour.
The centre of Ferrara is approximately 20 minutes walking time from the railway station. Actually, the outer walls of the city are just across the station, but the castello, located in the heart of the old city, is a bit of a hike to make, especially if loaded with luggage.
- Budget Travel
I arrived in Ferrara by travelling from Bologna on the autostrada and then entering Ferrara from the south on Via Bologna. I parked just inside the city wall near Porta Paola in a square called Piazza Travaglio. There are meters here which cost €1/hr. Very easy!
Bicicle - simply the best
There is no other way to see Ferrara better than to take the bicycle for a short trip. Everyone there uses the bicycle. Just do it in the morning, before it gets noisy and before shops open. You'll just love this trip through the narrow streets, looking at the old, colourful little houses.
How to get to Ferrara
FERROVIE DELLO STATO, Railway Station, Piazza Stazione, 4 -Tel. (information) 8488 88088 - URL: http://www.fs-on-line.com
Ferrovie Padane - route Bologna-Ferrara-Codigoro ? Railway station Porta Reno, Via Foro Boario, 27 - Tel. 0532 94182;
Ferrovie Suzzara Ferrara - route Ferrara-Suzzara-Mantova - Railway Station, Piazza Stazione, 4 - Tel. 0532 52153
Motorway: A 13 - Bologna - Padova; uscite: Ferrara Nord, Ferrara Sud.
Motorway connections: from Ferrara, exit Ferrara-south of the A 13 motorway, Motorway Ferrara-Portogaribaldi (Lidi di Comacchio) or A-roads "Adriatica" (N.16) from Ravenna, "Porrettana" (N.64) from Bologna-S.Matteo della Decima; from Ferrara, exit Ferrara-north of the A 13 motorway, A-roads (N. 255) from Modena and "Virgiliana" (N.496) from Mantova.
B-roads: Ferrara-Copparo-Mesola-Goro; Ferrara-Malborghetto-Copparo-Ro; Ferrara-Ravalle-Bondeno; Ferrara-Contrapò-Denore -Formignana; Ferrara-Tresigallo-Massa Fiscaglia-Comacchio; Ferrara-Masi Torello-Ostellato-Comacchio.
Coach station: Via Rampari di San Paolo - Tel. 0532 599492
Tourist Port: River Tourist Port San Paolo, via Darsena 53/a - tel. 0532 769713
Airports: "G. Marconi" of Bologna at km. 45 from Ferrara, "M. Polo" of Venezia at km.110, "Catullo" of Verona-Villafranca at km 100.
Airport of Ferrara, Via Aeroporto - 44100 Ferrara - tel. 0532 914655
Cars of course.. ;)
Alot of people is driving in Ferrara. It's not difficult to drive here.. Since there's not a heavy traffic as in metropolitan cities and there are no slopes you drive easily... So everybody's driving...
Railway system is well planned in Italy... So while taking ur way you may choose trains calmly.. There are three types of trains: Inter regionale, inter city and eurostar... And these trains divided like 1st class, 2nd class, no smoking,... There's for sure a train as you like.. ;))
City of bikes...
Ferrara is the city of bikes.. You can see heaps of people around going by their bikes from 7 to 97 years old..
The photo is from just beside of Ferrara Train Station... Students, workers, businessmen... leave their bikes in station and take the train to arrive their work... If the weather is nice, very healthy habit eh 8)?
3B - boots, bikes, busses =)
In the center you can reach everything by foot. It's a pleasure to walk and to wander around. You can also use the bicycle, to the "further" locations, if you're too lazy, use the bus.
To Ferrara you can come in different ways. Train, bus, car. There's no problem with parking quite close to the center, center is easily reachable by foot.
How to move in Ferrara
The city is not so big,walking is not a problem.If you are really lazy,there are buses linking all parts of town.I would suggest to leave your car(if you have any)in parkings outside downtown,because most part of it is closed to cars and vehicles.
But most used mean of transport here is bicycle!Ferrara is city for cyclist.Bicycles definitely rule here.So rent a bike and have a nice tour of the town,you won't be disappointed.
How to get to Ferrara
Ferrara is located about 50 kms north of Bologna,and is connected with all routes joining Bologna and Venice,both roads and railway.
Railway station is 15 minutes walking distance from centre town.
Nearest airport is Bologna airport,connected with all main europeans cities.