Ferrara is a great Italian city to visit for a day or two and slow your pace a bit. It’s a small city which you can easily reach from Venice, Ravena or Bologna by train, which actually a great way to travel in Italy. To travel short distances for sure because it’s super comfortable and sometimes cheap if you catch a discount. But we are here to talk about the beautiful city, Ferrara. I had a free Saturday and an eager to visit new places in Italy so Ferrara was a perfect city. A place for solo travel, because there are many things to do to enjoy your own company or a place for a couple who want a relaxing time together. So here are my insights and ideas about what to do in Ferrara, Italy.
1. Castle Estense
The highlight of the city is this castle for sure. It is in the middle of the city and the whole action is happening around. It is built in the 14th century and this castle has stood as a symbol of Ferrara’s power for hundreds of years. You can walk around the castle or enter the exhibition inside the castle.
The beginning of the exhibition looked like a joke. A few items with a huge dust layer without any information or dungeon which doesn’t look suitable for people or information which is written dull and with mistakes. Although, when I reached the next floor and saw that gorgeous Frescas then I understood that it was worth coming here. Also, from the tower, you can see the panorama of Ferrara and it just took my breath away.
But in Italy, you can see those things that sometimes they do not appreciate the things they have and how old it is. They have so many ancient buildings which are still in perfect condition and in some museums, you can even see some ancient items without any protection from people, time or weather.
You can easily spend a couple of hours inside the castle and you would not even feel how time flies.
Enjoy an Italian meal
After a long walk in the castle Estense, I’ve got quite hungry and I went to the nearest restaurant. I was so surprised because the prices of meals were totally normal and the food of course amazing. Usually, as a rule in Italy if you go to a cafe or restaurant near popular or touristic places then you will pay way too much or pay a huge “sitting fee”. If you don’t know it then read my blog post of what to expect in Italy. But here in Ferrara, it is not overpriced so if you have a dish that you want to taste in Italy, but it’s quite expensive in other cities, then try Ferrara.
3. Cathedral of Saint George or Ferrara cathedral
While I was visiting Ferrara I couldn’t admire or enter the cathedral because it was under construction, but I heard it is magnificent.
4. Explore the city
As in any other European, the safe city put on comfy sneakers and be prepared to walk and get lost in the small streets. While walking around the city and escaping the city’s centre only then you see the true life of local people.
5. Palazzo dei Diamanti Art Gallery
Well, that’s a nice looking building. You probably will not see an exterior of a building quite like this anywhere else – hundreds and thousands of faceted marble blocks which looks like diamonds. A little bit.
Inside, there is a gorgeous art gallery that contains works from 13th to 17th centuries mainly from notable artists local to the region.
6. Relax in Parco Massari
Ferrara has a wonderful historic city centre, but it also has its share of beautiful public parks. It’s a nice place to relax after Italian meals which are full of carbs and slow your pace or a great place for a picnic. My favourite type of picknicks in Italy is buying different types of pastry in a local shop and tasting them. How I didn’t gain weight in Italy I have no idea. But you can read my tips on how to stay fit while travelling here.