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Castello Estense in Ferrara.

Ferrara is a historic town in the region of Emilia Romagna in Italy. Though its origins are a mystery, the first mention of Ferrara was in a document dating to 753 A.D.. These days, the town is famed for its UNESCO World Heritage sites, cathedral, broad cobblestone boulevards and historic centre along the River Po. A trip to Ferrara (map) wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its most famous monument, the Castello Estense.

The mirrors of Castello Estense

Built in the 14th century by the powerful Este family, the castle is an imposing monument complete with a deep moat, drawbridges and impressive towers. The rooms inside the castle are mostly bare of furniture but look up – or into the mirrors – and you’ll be treated to magnificent frescoes on the high ceilings. Some of them were damaged by the earthquake in 2012 and are currently being restored, but the frescoes, despite the band-aids, are nothing short of breathtaking.

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The first mirror you’ll see.
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No need to strain your neck. This mirror provides a fab view of the frescoes!
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My favourite ceiling!

While you’re in Ferrara, you shouldn’t miss the stunning Cathedral, its various palaces like the Palazzo dei Diamanti (Palace of Diamonds) and churches. Hungry after a long stroll or bike tour? Drop by at Brindisi, Italy’s oldest tavern (still in existence).

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The Cathedral
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The Municipal Palace.
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Palazzo dei Diamanti.
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Brindisi tavern in Ferrara.
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A light lunch at Hostaria Brindisi.

Ferrara is, due to its location on the rail network between Bologna and Padua/Venice, is an easy day-trip from these cities. You can opt to stroll around the town or go on a bike tour. More information can be found at the Ferrara tourism office inside the Castell Estense.

Ferrara is also a recommended destination in the Ultimate Euro Food Trip.

Note: my visit to Emilia Romagna was part of the Blogville project, a collaboration between the Emilia-Romagna Tourism Board and iambassador.

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3 Responses

  • […] From Reggio Emilia, you can continue to Parma (note: if you visit Parma, don’t miss Alfione at Viale Piacenza, a fabulous deli/restaurant) or back-track to Ferrara, a historic town with an imposing castle. Stroll around this picturesque town, visit the 14th century Castello Estense, the stunning Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Diamanti (Palace of Diamonds). Read about my visit to Ferrara. […]

  • Wow, the only thing more impressive than the mirrors is that lunch! How much for everything?

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