The history of Ferrara’s sgraffito ceramics traces its origins to early medieval artefacts from China and the vast areas of the Iranian Plateau, which arrived on Italian soil through maritime trade and commerce with the Orient.  The first works excavated by medieval archaeologists in Ferrara are dated no earlier than the thirteenth century and were...

DURING THE LATE 15TH CENTURY, the city of Ferrara was undergoing a rapid period of growth. To accommodate this growth, Duke Ercole d’Este decided to demolish the medieval northern walls to enlarge the town. This later became known as the Erculean Addition, a popular form of Rennassiance urban planning. At the intersection of the two main roads, d’E...

Ferrara, a pleasant, bike-friendly small town in Emilia-Romagna, has been a Unesco World Heritage site since 1995, along with the surrounding agricultural lands of the vast Po river delta.  The area comprised within the Unesco site includes the medieval city within the ring of defensive walls that were erected starting in the 12th century, and subs...

Welcome to Ferrara, the first modern city of Europe. lts historic centre, included in the UNESCO  World Heritage List in 1995, is the realisation of the humanistic concept of the ideal city. But one of the most precious treasures in Ferrara is time. Take advantage of this by immersing yourself into the vital everyday life of this people-friendly ci...

For most Americans familiar with Italian Jewry, the images that linger come from Vittorio De Sica’s evocative 1971 film, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, the Academy Award-winning picture based on Italian writer Giorgio Bassani’s prize-winning 1962 novel. Set in Bassini’s picturesque hometown of Ferrara, Garden mixed the beauty of provincial Italy...

Glitz. Glamour. Bling. No matter the era, the lifestyles of the rich and famous are fascinating to those of us with a voyeuristic streak. During the Renaissance, Italy was rife with opulent homes filled with priceless art collections and owners who wanted to show them off. After the Middle Ages came an economic boom and a new reverence for classica...

Italy's culture minister Dario Franceschini has sanctioned state funds of €25 million - cancelled by the previous government - to complete the National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah - MEIS in the north Italian city of Ferrara. Announcing the news on 9 November, Franceschini said: "We owe it to Liliana Segre, to her personally and to what...

Strange to say, but even cities can give you quite romantic landscapes during the autumn. The wind lashing against the trees in the parks, the wide alleys turning into huge colourful carpets… In the historical centres, men and women of all ages go for a long stroll, seizing the warmth of the last rays of sun, while groups of children run after each...

Ferrara, loderò le  tue vie piane/grandi come fiumane,/che conducono all’infinito chi va solo col suo pensiero ardente: I shall praise your flat streets/as large as rivers/that lead to infinity those walking alone with their fiery thoughts. That’s how our Gabriele d’Annunzio, patriotic poet and high representative of Italy’s Decadentismo described...

The first modern city and one of the culturally most important Italian Renaissance city states, Ferrara was one of the European capitals of culture, arts, politics, gastronomy, in addition to being a reference point for artists, poets and minstrels. The Estense dynasty was a great family of eccentric and well-educated patrons which transformed a ru...