Ferrara is one of the most famous cities in Emilia-Romagna. In the period from 1260 to 1598 it was ruled by the d'Este family, and thank to that family the architecture of Ferrara was created in the style of the Renaissance. This city is a real masterpiece of art. Thanks to Ercole d'Este, who hired the architect Biagio Rossetti to mix the old style of the city with the new; Ferrara is done 50% in medieval and 50% in the Renaissance style.
Ferrara landmarks amaze with their grandeur and luxury. Especially memorable are the castles that used to belong to the Este family.
The first of them is Palazzo Munichipale that was built near the Cathedral, in the northern part of the city. Until the 15th century Palazzo Munichipale was the residence of the Este family, and then they moved to the Castello Estense, built thanks to the Torre dei Leoni. The tower used to be a protective wall of the city from invaders and acted as a northern border city. In the course of one century the tower turned into a big powerful fortress. Throughout its territory strong walls of brick were built, and it was used to store military weapons and ammunition. Around the tower a deep pit was dug, which was fed by a water channel, the origins of which were outside of the city.
In 1385, the residents of Ferrara, dissatisfied with high taxes, organized a revolt against the government. The latter tried to reach an agreement with its citizens, but in spite of that at the time, Tommaso da Tortona, a judge and a senior adviser to the family of Este, was brutally murdered. Frightened, Nicolò d'Este ordered to erect a new fortress, which would protect him and his family. This fortress is the Castello Estense.
At one point there was a fortress Rocca dei Leoni, and in its place, having added three new towers, the Castello Estense was built. There are four entrances to the castle, and communication with the city was done through drawbridges. In times of war, the castle served as a shelter for powerful people, as well as a storehouse for weapons.
Another famous landmark of the city of Ferrara is the Ferrara Cathedral. Particularly interesting is the combination of Gothic and Romanesque style of the structure. In the center of the cathedral there is a statue of the Madonna and child, and above it there are bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the Last Judgment. In the XVIII century the second portal of the cathedral was added, which exhibited plates with images of the four seasons, which currently are found in the museum of the cathedral.
Due to its unique architectural landmarks, Ferrara was included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
After a nice walk through the beautiful streets of Ferrara on foot or by bike, you can visit in the evening of day one of the family restaurants of the city. People who enjoy culinary delights should definitely visit the restaurant Il Don Giovanni, although you need to book a table here before you leave for Italy, because tourists from all over the world come to eat here to sample amazing Italian dishes. The rest can go to local pizzerias and trattorias that are especially popular among tourists.
Dukes of Ferrara left a legacy not only of mysterious castles and fortresses, but also the traditions of different celebrations, carnivals and festivals. Here the annual Festival of Mongolfiero or Hot air balloon festival is held every autumn. Illuminated by gas burners hot air balloons are hanging over the city around the clock for ten whole days. And the most important holiday in Ferrara is the famous Palio with its horse races and a carnival procession.
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