Although Ferrara might be more known for its historical attractions, there are still a lot of things to do for kids here. In order to render a rich cultural and historical experience for your children, you can visit attractions such as Castello Estence, Palazzo Dei Diamanti, Palazzo Schifanoia, and Casa Romei. Your children would love to take a stroll through the beautiful cobbled street of Via Delle Volte, known for its beautiful arches and covered passages. Your children can visit the famous National Archaeological Museum in Ferrara which is full of ancient Etruscan treasure. For entertainment and shopping options, you can visit the Markets in Ferrara which are held on Monday and Friday. It’s also common to find buskers entertaining children on Friday evenings in front of the Ferrara cathedral. Ferrara store is another place where your children can indulge in delicious local food and drink specialties of the city.
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What to Do in and around Ferrara
Enjoy 30 best Ferrara attractions and points of interest to choose from!
#1 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 3195 times in trip plans
Largo Castello 1, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Castello Estense is a charming medieval castle that is located in the heart of the city of Ferrara. Symbolized as the face of the city, the towering Castello Estence was erected upon the orders of Nicolò II d'Este in 1385. The castle has elements of the Renaissance style of architecture and has quite an interesting story behind its construction.
The major highlights of the Castello Estense are:
The moat and the drawbridges to the three entrances overlooking the brickwork ravelins.
The frescoed courtyard containing the gallery of portraits of the Este family.
The Gothic rooms having cross-vaulted ceilings and a series of panels depicting the socio-political life of the times.
The dungeons where the lovers Parisina Malatesta and Ugo (the Marquis’s son) were imprisoned and tortured.
The Lion’s Tower which served as a watchtower as well as the headquarters for the Este army.
The Loggia and the Garden of the Oranges which emanate with the fragrance of oranges and have impressive architectural elements.
Cabinet of the Bacchanalia where the wall to the right displays scenes from the myth of Bacchus.
The Ducal Chapel that is adorned with frescoes depicting the Four Evangelists.
The Chamber of Dawn that has a stunning ceiling display illustrating the four parts of the day.
The Saletta dei Giochi (Small Chamber of Games) which has paintings of the Four Seasons on its ceilings along with a number of beautiful frescoes.
The Saletta dei Veleni (Small Chamber of Poisons), the ceiling of which dates back to the 20th century and illustrates Italy and its conquests during the Fascist period.
The Hall of Games which has 11 panels depicting different varieties of sports.
Saint Paul’s Tower which contains images on the walls displaying Diana and small panels depicting the Four Seasons.
The Coats of Arms Room that exhibits two series of coat of arms from the period of the Papal States.
The Council Room that depicts the stages of the liberation movement of the city through its art and design.
Apart from the above, the Castello Estense is full of small fascinating exhibits and art that can leave you spellbound. Some sections of the castle are being used as government offices presently. To find more information about Ferrara, you can also visit the tourist office in the inner courtyard, which is available in a variety of different languages.
#2 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 2684 times in trip plans
Corso Ercole I d'Este, 21, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
09:00 am - 07:00 pm
The Palazzo dei Diamanti is a palace turned exhibition space that is famous for its Renaissance style of architecture. Designed by Biagio Rossetti upon commission by Sigismondo d'Este, brother of Duke Ercole I d'Este in 1492, this art gallery is owned by the Municipality of Ferrara.
The major highlights of the Palazzo dei Diamanti are:
The unique diamond shape of more than 8,500 white marble blocks which make up the ashlar of the building, hence giving its name. These diamonds are positioned to maximize the sunlight reflected off the building that creates a mesmerizing visual effect.
The first floor which houses the National Art Gallery of Ferrara and has paintings of the Ferrara school from the 13th up to the 18th century.
The exhibition space on the ground floor which are conducted by Ferrara Arte and the Galleries of Modern Art and Contemporary Art of Ferrara.
Bilingual commentaries describing the beautiful paintings.
Great lighting system highlighting the stunning paintings that have also been well-placed.
The Palazzo dei Diamanti is a haven for art lovers who’ll love the numerous international exhibitions which are held here and aimed at preserving the tradition of the art history of the city.
#3 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 2396 times in trip plans
Centro Citta, 44100 Ferrara, Italy
12:01 am - 12:00 am
Translated as the ‘Walls of Ferrara’, the Le Mura di Ferrara comprises of 9 kilometers of fortifications surrounding the city. Dating back to the Middle Ages with a few restorations in the 15th and 16th centuries, the walls are the perfect places to explore via long walks and cycles. Beginning this route from the Castello Estense, the must-see attractions along the Le Mura di Ferrara are:
The Porta degli Angeli, a historic monument in the northern part of the walls that was constructed in early-16th century as a watch tower but whose functions changed over the years.
The various ramparts, ports and passageways that display the different defensive techniques which developed over the centuries.
The Herculean Addition of Fortifications, distinguished by semicircular turrets and a long walkway to the sentries.
The Tower of St. John in the north and eastern sides of the Porta degli Angeli, distinctive by its circular structure characteristic of the Renaissance style of architecture.
The statue of Giorgio de Chirico, the famous Italian metaphysical painter.
Apart from the above, the Le Mura de Ferrara are surrounded by green trees and meadows. These beautiful views make the walls to be a big garden and a resting place for tourists and inhabitants alike. To cycle throughout this place, you can hire bikes at numerous outlets in the city.
#4 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 2461 times in trip plans
Via Capo delle Volte, Via Coperta, 44100, Ferrara, Italy
12:01 am - 12:00 am
The Via delle Volte is a charming cobbled street in Ferrara that dates back to the Middle Ages. Named after the distinctive volte, also known as the arches or covered passages that cover this street, the volte has become a symbol of the historical legacy of Ferrara.
The street gives a feeling of walking through the past with its hanging passageways (the air passages) which used to join the warehouses of the tradesmen on the banks of the river to the historic-housing towards the center. The picturesque Via delle Volte has also recently been refurbished with rustic river rocks as cobblestones that create an ambience of mystery and intrigue suited to a medieval city.
A great way to see the quaint buildings belonging from the 14th and 15th centuries, a walk along the Via delle Volte is picturesque with great opportunities to capture some beautiful photographs. You can also take a break and just grab a bite to eat from the charming bars and restaurants that line the street. The road runs parallel to the more urban and busy Via the Ripagrande and Via Carlo Mayr, which can be accessed by tiny and narrow passages which connect them.
#5 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 1294 times in trip plans
Via Scandiana 23, Ferrara 44121, Italy
09:30 am - 06:00 pm
The Palazzo Schifanoia is a Renaissance palace that was primarily built as the recreation centre for the Este family, as the name suggests. Built in 1385, the palazzo houses the magnificent collection of the Civic Museum of Ancient Art which includes Greek pottery, manuscripts, ceramics and artefacts of ivories, bronzes and plaques.
The major highlights of the Palazzo Schifanoia are as follows:
Sala dei Mesi (The House of the Months) which showcases a spellbinding series of frescoes exhibiting the months of the years and their mythological attributes.
Sala delle Virtu (The House of Virtues) that exhibits beautiful sculptures of the various Virtues.
Sala delle Imprese (The Hall Company) that has a coffered ceiling and a wood and polychrome stucco.
The breathtaking façade of the palazzo that is distinctive because of the elegant marble portal designed by Francesco del Cossa.
There is also a quaint little café in the back gardens of the Palazzo Schifanoia where you can take a break from your sightseeing and grab some food and drinks. Unfortunately, due to the earthquake in May 2012, the guided tours of the palazzo are restricted to Hall of the Months and the Hall of the Virtues.
#6 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 906 times in trip plans
Via XX Settembre, 122, 44100 Ferrara, Italy
09:30 am - 05:00 pm
Housed in the rooms on the main floor of the Palazzo Costabili, the National Archaeological Museum showcases a number of historical relics and artefacts from the excavations of the Etruscan city of Spina. The city was a prime trading centre that had prospered between the 6th and 3rd centuries BC.
The must-see exhibits at the museum are:
The Hall of the Maps which has beautiful frescoes and displays the city in different historical eras.
Several kits sourced from the necropolis of the Trebba Valle and Valle Pega.
Magnificent assortment of Attic pottery with red figures which depict scenes from everyday life and mythologies of the Trojan War, especially the kylix made by the Painter of Penthesilea.
Ceramics from the Magna Grecia which include plates, bowls, oil containers, nuts in bone and stone, especially the High Adriatic Ceramics.
Etruscan objects such as brass candelabras, tripods, perfume holders, amber and applied art.
The Hall of Ori which showcases a beautiful collection of jewelry such as gold diadems, pendants and brooches and also has a section on different fragrances.
In addition to the above, you can also visit the beautiful Renaissance gardens of the museum where there are many rare trees along with orchards with huge fruit trees.
#7 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 1343 times in trip plans
Via Savonarola, 30, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
08:30 am - 07:30 pm
Casa Romei is an ancient palace situated in the city of Ferrara that has a unique blend of architectural elements from the Medieval and Renaissance ages. The palace was constructed in the 15th century and owned by the famous merchant Giovanni Romei who adorned it on the occasion of his marriage with Polissena d'Este.
The major architectural highlights of the Casa Romei are as follows:
The grand courtyard with a double porch that has elements of Gothic style of architecture and is ornamented with terracotta friezes which includes a huge cipher of Christ.
The Sala delle Sibille, a hall cum gallery that has a majestic fireplace along with paintings of many prophetesses on the walls, each of which is attached with a cartouche where inscriptions and prophecies are written.
The beautifully preserved apartment on the first floor with ancient furniture and refined grotesques that date back to the 16th century.
The colossal Hall of Honor where the symbol of the cardinal, the white eagle has been displayed several times.
The coffered roof in the small study of Romei that has been conserved and adorned with lovely designs printed on paper.
Stunning frescoes and a magnificent collection of arts, furnishings, marbles and sculptures.
#8 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 1474 times in trip plans
Via del Gambone, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
09:30 am - 05:00 pm
The Monastero di Sant'Antonio in Polesine was established in the 13th century and is the first female monastery in Ferrara dedicated to St. Anthony the Great. It was founded by the Blessed Beatrice d'Este and has some beautiful frescoes which showcase the Giotto, Byzantine and Renaissance schools of architecture.
The church in the monastery is an example of the Baroque style and comprises of a lovely painted ceiling. The interiors of the church constitute of three frescoed chapels which showcase:
The stories of Jesus' childhood and the Life of the Virgin on the left.
The stories of Passion on the right.
An amalgamation of frescoes belonging to different periods and styles in the middle that includes the Annunciation by Domenico Panetti.
It also has a shovel with a Flagellation century, with the carved original altarpiece and gilded wood that belongs to the tomb of the founder.
The monastery exudes a sense of peace and tranquility once you enter it. However, you have to ring a bell in order to get inside and one of the nuns will also give you a guided tour of the monastery in Italian. You can also listen to the melodies and hymns of the nuns if you go in the afternoons or early mornings.
#9 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 2573 times in trip plans
Via Borso d'Este 50, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
07:30 am - 07:30 pm
The Cimiteri della Certosa in Ferrara is a magnificent Renaissance structure that is located inside the walls of the city presently and is situated within the city limits of the Herculean Addition. The cemetery was initially founded as the Carthusian Order monastery in 1461 by the Duke Borso. However, the suppression of the religious orders by Napoleon led to the closure of the monastery in the late-1700s and it became the cemetery of the city in 1813.
The major highlights of this cemetery are:
The church of St. Christopher which can be distinguished by
The Latin cross and a beautiful interior with twelve side chapels.
The Renaissance motifs on the 18th century white marble portal of the facade.
The stunning arches which rise from the base of every two chapels that have been ornamented with marble bas-reliefs indicating the emblems of the royal family.
A stunning painting by Carlo Bononi and two smaller oil paintings.
Tombs of several illustrious personalities such as Borso d'Este, Giovanni Boldini, Filippo de Pisis and so on.
You can just take a break here from your tour and enjoy the calm and tranquil beauty of this place by soaking yourself in the history of the ancestors of Ferrara.
#10 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 756 times in trip plans
Via San Romano, 1, 44121 Ferrara FE, Italy
09:30 am - 06:00 pm
Enclosed in the former church of San Romano, the Museo della Cattedrale is a part of the Civic Museum of Ancient Arts in Ferrara. It primarily constitutes of works that were exhibited originally in the Ferrara Cathedral. Established in the year 1929, the museum can be accessed through a small yet beautiful square cloister. The major must-see exhibits at the Museo della Cattedrale are:
The ancient organ doors that depict scenes from the ‘Annunciation’ and ‘St. George and the Dragon’ made by Cosme Tura.
The panels of the cycle of the months from the Porta Dei Mesi that dates back to the 13th century.
The marble sculpture of Madonna of the Pomegranate created by Jacopo della Quercia.
Eight stunning tapestries from the mid-16th century that depict stories of St George and St Maurelio.
Stone works by the Masters of Como and Campione along with a panel created by Nicholaus.
Precious relics from the 14th and 15th centuries which include a statue of ‘Madonna with Child’.
The museum has an extremely courteous and helpful staff who can guide you through your visit. For art and history lovers, a visit to the Museo della Cattedrale is a must in your itinerary of Ferrara.
#11 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 536 times in trip plans
Corso Ercole I d'Este, 19, Ferrara FE, Italy
09:30 am - 06:00 pm
The Museo del Risorgimento e della Resistenza is an impressive museum that displays a wide assortment of exhibits related to the Italian unification movement called the Risorgimento. It was founded in 1903 to honor the patriots Ferrara Giacomo Succi, Domenico Malagutti and Luigi Parmeggiani.
The major highlights of the museum are:
The exhibition rooms dedicated to the Risorgimento which contain relics of Garibaldi, the martyrs of 1853 and the Battalion of Bersaglieri del Po. The exhibits include portraits, stamps, flags, satirical prints, ribbons, paper money, weapons, banners, medals and marble busts.
Remnants of the original Austrian fortress of Ferrara and a splendid collection of rifles, flags, muskets, uniforms, guns and swords of various armies from the period of the WWI and the colonial wars.
The section dedicated to anti-fascism and the Resistance which includes souvenirs and tokens from the private and public sphere, photographs, newspapers, advertisements and testimonials of political and racial killings.
The Exhibition Hall which acts as a historical-education platform that contains a striking archive of documents, vintage illustrations and memorabilia which recreate the events of the time of the Carbonari uprisings and the events before and after the wars of independence.
For history buffs and researchers, this museum provides the perfect opportunity to travel through the rich history of Ferrara.
#12 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 1910 times in trip plans
Corso Ercole I D'Este, Via delle Erbe 29, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
The Addizione Erculea, translated to be the Herculean Effort, was an urban work planning that took place during the Renaissance period in the 15th century. Commissioned upon the orders of Ercole I d’Este in 1492, this project was completed by architect Biagio Rossetti and was named in honor of the Ercole.
The work entailed a doubling of the city towards the north and created a new area that centered around two major perpendicular axis, namely, Corso Ercole I, and Corso Porta Po. This extended portion of the city consists of many parks, gardens and monuments, the most famous of which is the Palazzo Diamante. Because of its unique and rational city plan, Ferrara has been titled as the first ‘Modern European City’ and has also been declared as an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995.
Along with the famous monuments, the Addizione Erculea also has an area of 4 hectares enclosed within the Chartreuse and the Jewish cemetery that is wholly devoted to agriculture. The L 'Association New Terraviva is responsible for the care of this area and organizes several recreational and educational activities for children and adults alike which you can explore and enjoy on your visit to this place.
#13 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 938 times in trip plans
Via XX Settembre 124, Ferrara 44121, Italy
09:30 am - 05:00 pm
The Palazzo di Lodovico Il Moro is also known as the Palazzo Costabili, after Antonio Costabili, an important nobleman in the court of duke Ercole I d'Este. Costabili had commissioned the palace to the famous architect Biagio Rossetti in 1495. Although the palace was not fully built, the architectural brilliance of Rossetti can still be seen in it and it currently houses the National Archaeological Museum of Ferrara.
The major highlights of the palace are as follows:
The Courtyard of Honor which has ornamental sculptures carved on it in white stone and is decorated with a magnificent colonnade. It is however, only completed on two sides.
The Treasure Hall that has a brilliantly painted ceiling and frescoes according to the Bridal Chamber of Mantegna.
The Hall of Maps which showcases reproductions of old maps.
The grand Renaissance garden that represents historical formal gardens and contains a wide variety of trees and plants.
The National Archaeological Museum that exhibits a beautiful collection of artefacts which includes pottery figures and paintings.
The palazzo also has detailed descriptions about the exhibits in English and a friendly staff who can guide you through the place.
#14 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 1431 times in trip plans
Via delle Vigne, Ferrara, 44122, Italy
09:00 am - 06:00 pm
The Cimitero Ebraico di Ferrara or the Jewish Cemetery in Ferrara is situated in the area that belonged to the Jewish community since the 17th century. Formerly known as the ‘Garden of the Jews’, the cemetery was robbed and destroyed by the Inquisition in the 18th century. Many marbles from the tombs were then taken and used to build the column of the statue of Borso d'Este at the Town Hall of Ferrara.
Presently, the tombs in this cemetery date back to only the 19th century and one of the most beautiful ones is the tomb of the author Giorgio Bassani, who died in 2000 and which was created by the sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro.
A walk through this cemetery inspires a deep sense of melancholia which is heightened by the cruel Jewish historical legacy of this place. Surrounded by overgrown vegetation, this secluded cemetery has the ability to create a deep sense of peace in your soul with its haunting silences that envelope the tombstones. A major highlight of this place is a large ginkgo plant, which is actually a native plant of the Far East.
#15 of 30 Things to do in Ferrara | Added 904 times in trip plans
Via Filippo de Pisis, 24, 44100 Ferrara FE, Italy
09:00 am - 06:00 pm
The Museo Civico di Storia Naturale in Ferrara is an ecological museum that showcases several exhibits about the natural history of Ferrara. Inaugurated in 1872, the museum comprises of exhibition areas, educational centres as well as areas for documentation.
The Museo Civico di Storia Naturale contains the following exhibits:
The Palaeontology, Mineralogy and Petrography sections that are exhibited through a variety of fossils, minerals and rocks belonging to periods of all ages.
Specimens of a large collection of rare amphibians, insects, reptiles, mammals, fish, invertebrates and birds which represent the Zoology sections.
The ‘Earth Environment’ exhibition that showcases the environmental diversity of the world and the changes that have evolved it.
The historic hall that exhibits reconstructions of dinosaurs, plant and animal fossils along with depicting human history and its evolution.
The Station of Land Ecology, a permanent research section committed to the study of ecosystems, biological communities and populations of animal species.
With a friendly and courteous staff, the museum is an exciting place to visit for lovers of natural history with well-organized exhibitions and interactive information panels explaining all about the exhibits. Do check out the library, the reading rooms and the book shop if you visit this place.