Ferrara was another day trip from Bologna. It’s a larger city and the Old Town sites here are more spread out than in Ravenna. And as the old saying goes … timing is everything. Several sites were closed when their signs said they were open, and some sites had limited hours. So, we walked quite a bit farther and had to do some backtracking.
Castello Estense, built in 1385, is in the center of town.
Much of the castle is now used as government offices but the royal suites are open to visitors. The rooms are empty but the ceilings make up for that.
The orangery overlooked the moat and a market that was set up in front of a castle entrance.
A pleasant walk from the castle brought us to Palazzo Schifanoia, built in 1385. Frescos from 1470 depict the months, seasons and signs of the zodiac.
Our guide book noted that these frescos are unusually unreligious in tone and the only ones of their type in Italy. One room had this ornate ceiling.
We walked down Via Volte through what was once the Jewish ghetto (1627 –1859).
As in other Ghettos, because so many people were packed into a small area, residents added more space by adding rooms that span the narrow lanes.
We made our way back to the center of town to the Piazza Cathedral…
and went into the 12th century Duomo.
The Cathedral faces Palazzo Municipal which is linked to the castle. It was the home of the Este family until they built the castle and moved next door.
The 15th century Palazzo dei Diamanti was starred in our guide book so we walked north a 1/2 mile to find it closed, although the sign said it should be open. It houses an art museum which would have been interesting but at least we could see how the building got its name … the façade is covered with spiky diamond shaped stones.
The photos are deceptive. It’s a very large building. Notice Will in the doorway.
There was a pretty park across the street.
On our walk back to the train station we passed through a part of the old city walls.
We would have run out of time if all the sites had been open.
Next stop, Venice.