Castello Estense (Castle) - 14th - 19th centuries
Largo Castello - Tel. +39 0532 299233 - Mondays closed
Cattedrale (Cathedral) - 12th - 19th centuries
Piazza della Cattedrale - Tel. +39 0532 207449
Casa dell'Ariosto (Ariosto's House) -16th century
Via Ariosto, 67 - Tel. +39 0532 209988 - Mondays closed
Casa Romei - 15th - 16th centuries
Via Savonarola, 30 - Tel. +39 0532 240341 - Mondays closed
Beautiful early Renaissance house built for Giovanni Romei. On its owner’s death, it became part of the nearby monastery Corpus Domini. Wonderful courtyard. On the ground floor: frescoed rooms of the l5th century and a small lapidary museum. On the first floor: an apartment with frescoes of the l6th century, where members of the Este family used to spend periods of rest and meditation.
Certosa - 15th - 19th centuries
Viale della Certosa
This former carthusian monastery was built in 1462. At the beginning of the 19th century it was transformed into the city cemetery. The whole complex is very interesting for the history of architecture and sculpture. Here you can find the tombs of duke Borse and princess Marfisa d’Este. The interesting church was projected by Biagio Rossetti in the 16th century and houses a lot of paintings by late Renaissance artists. (The inside is being restored).
Chiesa del Gesù (Church) - 16th century
Via Borgo dei Leoni, 56 - Tel. +39 0532 205908
Built in the 16th century, it houses the outstanding group of terracotta statues called ‘Lament over Christ’s Body’ by Guido Mazzoni (15th century). On the right aisle altars, paintings by Bastarolo and Crespi. Behind the main altar, the monumental tomb of Barbara of Austria, second wife of duke Alfonso II.
Chiesa di San Benedetto (Church) - 15th - 16th centuries (rebuilt)
Piazzale S. Benedetto - Tel. +39 0532 200023
Almost completely destroyed during World War 2, the church was rebuilt after 1950. Church and monastery were a work of Biagio Rossetti, while the high bell-tower was projected by Giovan Battista Aleotti.
Chiesa di San Giorgio (Church) - 15th - 18th centuries
Piazzale S. Giorgio - Tel. +39 0532 62231
This was the first cathedral of Ferrara, from the 8th to the 12th century. The present church was built in the l5th. Inside: next to the main altar, the beautiful Renaissance tomb of bishop Lorenzo Roverella. Not far, the tomb of Cosmè Tura. The frescoes of the central aisle and the cloister are also worth seeing.
Chiesa di San Francesco (Church) - 15th - 16th centuries
Via Terranuova. Tel. +39 0532 209646.
Chiesa di San Paolo (Church) - 15th - 17th centuries
P.tta Schiatti - Tel. +39 0532 765284
It was built in 1575 by Alberto Schiatti. Inside: paintings by Girolamo da Carpi, Bastianino and Scarsellino. In the apse vault: ‘The Ascension of Elijah’ by Scarsellino, a fundamental work for the development of Italian art.
Chiesa di Santa Maria in Vado (Church) - 16th - 17th centuries
Via Borgovado, 3 - Tel. +39 0532 65127
Ancient church rebuilt from 1495 to l5l8 and redecorated at the end of the 16th century. Inside: works of Girolamo da Carpi, Mona, Bononi and Filippi. In the right transept stands the ‘Temple of the Holy Blood’ (16th century), built to remind a great miracle that had taken place in the church: on Easter day 1171, the vault of the church was stained with the blood which spurted out of the Host; the vault can still be seen inside the temple.
Ghetto e Sinagoghe (Ghetto and Synagogues) - 13th - 18th centuries
You can’t speak of Ferrara without taking into consideration the Jews’ presence in town. The Jewish community was flourishing until the end of the 16th century, thanks to the protection of the ruling family, and a great number of synagogues were built everywhere in town. Around 1627 the papal government shut the Jews up in a ghetto and made them wear a badge on their clothes. This situation lasted over two centuries: the gates of the ghetto were opened for a short time after the French occupation of 1796, then definitely pulled down in the second half of the l9th century, when the unificatton of Italy took place. The streets of the ghetto are: Via Mazzini (at nr. 95 there are the synagogues still used by the community and the interesting Jewish Museum); Via Vignatagliata, with the oldest houses, some of which date back to the 14th century; piazzetta Lampronti and Via Vittoria where, at nr. 41, stood the Spanish Synagogue, half-destroyed during the World War 2, whose furniture is partially housed in the Lampronti oratory of Leghorn.
Monastero del Corpus Domini (Monastery) - 15th - 18th centuries
Via Pergolato, 4 - Tel. +39 0532 207825
Saturdays and Holidays closed - It was founded by Saint Caterina Vegri. In the choir of the small church there are some tombs of the Este family (Alfonso I, Eleanor of Aragon, Lucretia Borgia, etc.).
Monastero Sant'Antonio in Polesine (Monastery) - 13th - 15th centuries
Vicolo del Gambone - Tel. +39 0532 64068 - Holidays closed
This architectural complex was founded in 1249 by Blessed Beatrice d’Este. In the choir you can admire some of the most precious frescoes in town, either of the school of Giotto or the Ferrarese school.
Oratorio dell'Annunziata (Oratory) - 15th - 16th centuries
Via Borgo di Sotto, 49 - Tel. +39 0532 741009
Holidays closed -This oratory houses interesting frescoes of the 16th century (‘The History of the Holy Cross’) by Bastianino, Camillo Filippi, Niccolò Roselli and others. Behind the altar, a “Resurrection’ of the 15th century (school of Pisanello).
Palazzina Marfisa d'Este - 16th century
C.so Giovecca170 - Tel. +39 0532 209988 - Mondays closed
It is a wonderful example of late Renaissance upper class residence, with a small cosy garden. Here lived princess Marfisa, daughter of Francesco d’Este. Inside: grotesques by the Filippi school, sculptures, antique furniture and objects of the 16th -17th centuries. In the garden stands a large loggia which was used as a theatre.
Palazzo Bonacoss - 15th -16th centuries
Via Cisterna del Follo, 5 - Tel. +39 0532 232911
It was built in 1468 for Diotisalvi Neroni, a florentine exile. Sober and austere, its is marked by an enbattled tower in the middle of its façade and a beautiful terracotta portal. The main courtyard was projected by Girolamo da Carpi. It received its present look in 1572, when Francesco d’Este bought it in order to link it to Palazzina Marfisa by means of a garden. In 1643 it was bought by the Bonacossi family. Some collections of the Civic Museums of Ancient Art are to be displayed in its rooms; at the moment it hosts the direction, the library and the photographic archives of the Museums.
Palazzo Costabili called ‘di Ludovico il Moro’ - 15th - 16th centuries
Mondays closed - Via XX Settembre, 124 - Tel. 0532 66299
Built by Biagio Rossetti, it has a wonderful unfinished courtyard. In some rooms there are frescoes by Garofalo (16th century). Behind the palace a neo-Renaissance garden is worth seeing. The palace houses the National Arheological Museum.
Palazzo dei Diamanti - 16th century
C.so Ercole I d’Este, 21 - Tel. +39 0532 209988
Palazzo di Giulio d’Este - sec. 16th century
C.so Ercole I d’Este, 16 - not public - It is attributed to Biagio Rossetti, and it was probably built for Giulio d’Este, brother of duke Alfonso I.
Palazzo Massari - 16th - 19th centuries
C.so Porta Mare, 9 – Tel. +39 0532 209988
PalazzoMunicipale - ex Palazzo Ducale (Town Hall - former Ducal Palace) - 13th - 19th centuries
Piazza del Municipio
It was the residence of the Este until the 16th ventury, when the family and the court established their residence in the castle. The palace was built in 1243 and underwent many changes in the following centuries. The big entrance arch is flanked by two statues: Niccolò III on horseback and duke Borso sitting on a throne. Through the arch you can reach the former ducal courtyard, embellished by a large elegant 15th century stairway projected by Pietro Benvenuto degli Ordini. Inside you can visit the small ‘Room of the Duchesses’, decorated with painted and gilded wooden panels of the 16th century.
Palazzo Naselli-Crispi - 16th century
Via Borgo dei Leoni, 28
This work of 1530 by Girolamo da Carpi is perhaps the only example of classical architecture in Ferrara. Don’t miss its façade and the beautiful courtyand, which can be visited on Weekdays.
Palazzo Paradiso (Ariostea Library - Biblioteca Ariostea) - 14th - 17th century
Via delle Scienze, 17 - Tel.0532 418200
It dates back to 1391. In the 17th century it underwent many changes necessary to make it the new seat of the University, which was moved again only in 1963. Now the palace is the seat of the City Library, rich in ancient valuable books and manuscripts. Inside: the monumental tomb of Ariosto and an 18th century Anatomical Theatre.
Palazzo Prosperi-Sacrati - 16th century
C.so Ercole I d’Este, 23
It stands opposite Palazzo dei Diamanti and it’s mainly famous for its grand portal, a finest example of Renaissance architectural sculpture. The original colours of the marble, white, grey and pink, have been rediscovered thanks to a recent restoration.
Palazzo Renata di Francia - 15th - 18th centuries
Via Savonarola, 9
Palazzo Roverella - 16th century
C.so Giovecca, 47 - Not public.
Palazzo Schifanoia - 14th - 15th century
Via Scandiana, 23 - Tel. +39 0532 209988
Piazza Ariostea - 16th century
It was planned by Biagio Rossetti, who also projected two palaces overlooking it: Palazzo Rondinelli and Palazzo Bevilacqua (the two with arcades). About 1930 the square underwent some changes which gave it its present look. In the middle there is the 19th century monument to Ludovico Ariosto, on a high 16th century column. In this square, every year on the last Sunday of May, the “Palio” is run, which consists of four competitions: the littie girls’ race, the little boys’ race, the she-ass race and the horse race.
Prospettiva - 18th century
This archway was built from 1703 to 1704 by architect Mazzarelli in order to serve as a permanent scenic structure at the end of the street. Originally it had got only three arches and was decorated with marble coats-of-arms.