Emilia Romagna - Places to Visit - Ferrara
Situated 9 m. above sea level, surrounded by a fertile plain in the north-eastern part of the region, slightly below the course of the Po river.
Of probable medieval origin, the city began to acquire a certain importance at the time of the comuni (12th century).
In 1240, the Estenses rose to power and under them Ferrara enjoyed its period of greatest splendour.
In fact, the Dukes turned the city into a centre of culture at European level, receiving artists and poets including Ariosto and Tasso at court; in the 16th century, on the initiative of Ercole I d'Este, the city underwent well-planned urban development round the medieval centre.
In 1597, it was annexed to the Papal States, losing part of its importance and, after the Napoleonic period, became united with the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.
Monuments: Castello Estense (castle, 14th-16th century), Cattedrale (12th-13th century, outstanding works of art), Palazzo dei Diamanti (16th century), Palazzo di Lodovico il Moro (16th century palace), Palazzina di Marfisa, (16th century), Palazzo di Schifanoia (14th-15th century).
As far as the economy is concerned, Ferrara is an active commercial centre with national and international trade in fruit and horticultural products, for which it is particularly well equipped (warehousing facilities, efficient transport sector, international biennial fair of fruit cultivation).
Industry is present in the food (sugar, pasta factories and flour mills), engineering (agricultural machinery) and petrochemical sectors.
Events:Mostra Canina Internazionale (international dog show in March), Palio di San Giorgio (May), modern art exhibition at the Palazzo dei Diamanti, exhibitions at the Castello Estense, Premio Letterario Estense (literary prize in September).
Famous People:Cosm Tura (artist, 1432-1495), Gerolamo Savonarola (politician and orator, 1452-1498), Borso d'Este (overlord of Ferrara, 1413-1471), Filippo de Pisis (artist, 1896-1956).
Cultural Institutions:University; Civica Galleria d'Arte Modena (modern art gallery), Museo del Risorgimento and Pinacoteca Nazionale (art gallery), all at the Palazzo dei Diamanti; Museo Civico and Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Etruscan remains), museums; Casa dell'Ariosto.
In the Province:Cento (industrial centre, Galleria d'Arte Moderna), Comacchio (environmental interest), Argenta (Pinacoteca-art gallery), Bondeno, Mesola (Mesola forest) and Codigoro (in the vicinity, Pomposa Abbey).