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What to do in one day in Ferrara?

Experience Ferrara in a day with a blend of Renaissance architecture, vibrant markets, and delectable cuisine along the charming streets of this beautiful Italian city.

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What to do in one day in Ferrara?

Ferrara is a city in the Emilia Romagna region  and is incredibly beautiful. It was so incredible that, in 1995, its entire historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Do you want to get to know Ferrara? Then this post is for you! Let’s go to our post of the day: What to do in one day in Ferrara? Stay with us and make the most of boot country! Here at Italy’s Dream Tourism you can make the trip of your dreams come true!! Also check out our Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your Vacations Section!

Our Introduction

Ferrara is the historic town of Estensi, an important center of art and culture, as well as one of the most beautiful towns in Emilia Romagna. Its elegant historic center is full of important monuments. The city was one of the most important centers of the Renaissance in Italy, frequented by famous artists, writers, and scientists. Old Ferrara is today divided between the Renaissance area and the medieval city, both splendid and perfect for exploring both on foot and by bike. If you want to visit this place in one day, where should you depart? What’s a must-see? We have tried to give answers through this text. Come with us!!!

1) What to do in one day in Ferrara? VISIT THE ESTENSE CASTLE

We start this excursion from the symbol of the city, from the strong point, if not, of the monument that best represents the city, the Estense castle. This magnificent building dates back to 1835 and was built by Bartolino da Novara, a fortification that was not erected for artistic purposes, but as a fortress to take refuge in. Over the centuries, the Estense Castle played several roles: it was the headquarters of the Eastern army, with stables, arsenals, warehouses, workshops, and everything else that was necessary for the small army that was housed there, and then it was transformed into a noble residence where the court life of the powerful Estense family lived. A visit to the castle allows you to discover the apartments, the kitchens, the prisons, the garden, the chapel, and many other things.


Near the Estensese Castle, continuing, in front of the Palazzo Comunale, you can admire another Ferrarese masterpiece, the Cathedral of San Giorgio (St. George), which represents the religious center of the city of Ferrara. Immediately striking is the appearance of the white marble façade with the beautiful balcony. Today, the church appears to visitors in a fascinating mix of styles, ranging from Romanesque to Baroque. In the center of the splendid façade is St. George, who slays the dragon. Among other things, it is located in the great Piazza Trento e Trieste, also known by the old name Piazza delle Erbe, where other historic buildings stand out. It is a good place to take a break and have a coffee while watching the movement of the city.

3) What to do in one day in Ferrara? VISIT THE PALAZZO DEI DIAMANTI

We continue the visit in the city and arrive at Corso Ercole I d’Este. Here is the famous Palazzo dei Diamanti, one of the most famous palaces of the Italian Renaissance. According to UNESCO, Corso Ercole d’Este is one of the most beautiful streets in the world. Until 1492, Ferrara was a city with a medieval structure, made up of small, winding streets, enclosed in the perimeter that reaches the Canale della Giovecca. It was precisely in this palace that the central work of the so-called ‘Addizione Erculea’, that is, the enlargement of the city desired by Ercole d’Este,. Inside the palace, there is also a beautiful Renaissance courtyard with a cloister and a well. The name derives from the particular shape, with more than 8,500 blocks of white-pink marble adorning the facades.

4) What to do in one day in Ferrara? VISIT THE QUADRIVIO DEGLI ANGELI

Totally reserved for pedestrians and with almost no shops, it keeps the Renaissance structure intact. The most important point is the so-called ‘Quadrivio degli Angeli‘, where the Palazzo dei Diamanti, the Palazzo Turchi di Bagno, and the Palazzo Prosperi-Sacrati are located. Another must-see building is the Palazzo Schifanoia. What makes the building famous is not so much the architecture as the frescoes that are inside. It was precisely to celebrate his power that Albert V d’Este decided to make a ducal hall decorated with an exceptional cycle of frescoes. Thus was born the Salone dei Mesi, the largest Renaissance cycle of pagan frescoes in which the good rule of the duke is celebrated in an allegorical way through mythology and astrology. Due to the earthquake in Emilia in 2012, only the Salone dei Mesi and the subsequent Sala degli Stucchi can be visited.

5) What to do in one day in Ferrara? VISIT THE MEDIEVAL TOWN

At this point, the day trip to Ferrara can only end with a pleasant walk in the old medieval town, which, in addition to collecting monuments and museums, is also ideal for walking between a church and a stop at a café or a typical restaurant. Among Ferrara’s specialties, you can taste the ‘salama da sugo’, pasticcio pasta (or Ferrara pie), cappellacci with pumpkin, and a gingerbread cake—not to be missed!

Map with the attractions of the day
Map with the attractions of the city

How to get to Ferrara?

1) How to get to Ferrara? BY PLANE

The closest airports to Ferrara are Bologna Airport and Venice’s Marco Polo Airport. Read here: How to get from Bologna Airport to the City Center?

Also read our Special Posts about Airports in Italy:

2) How to get to Ferrara? BY TRAIN

Ferrara can be reached directly from Bologna and Padua and is connected to the south by a railway line with Ravenna. Ferrara train station is located twenty minutes from the historic center, so you can arrive on foot safely or take a bus.

Did you know that Trenitalia is the leading Italian company dedicated to the management of rail transport? Read here, “What is the difference of trains in Italy?“. Buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot; read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?“.

3) How to get to Ferrara? DRIVING

Ferrara is easily accessible: it is connected to the A13 motorway from Bologna to Padua and can be reached from the 309 Romea motorway thanks to the junction of motorway 8 from Comacchio. Read also TRAVELING BY CAR IN ITALY: EXAMPLES OF ITINERARIES. If you are renting a car, be sure to read our posts in the Driving in Italy section  of the Italy’s Dream Tourism. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signs, tolls, roads, and much more.

Important to know

If you are going to drive in Italy, is it essential to have an international license or your Brazilian driver’s license with a sworn translation? If you do not have one, you will get in a lot of trouble with the Italian police! READ THE POST DO I NEED AN INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT IN ITALY (IDP)?

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What to do in one day in Ferrara? Italy is full of beautiful cities that we often underestimate. One of them is certainly Ferrara, the city of Estensi, which, if we compare it to other Italian cities, is little sought after by Brazilian tourists. Ferrara offers a rich culture, palaces, churches, squares, and monuments that tell the story of a city ready to welcome you with open arms! Ferrara will probably become one of your favorite cities in Italy—veiledly, that’s the invitation that the place gave us!

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