Ferrara, in Emilia Romagna, and only 50km from Bologna, It belongs to the nation, It is located in the North East, the greatest number of UNESCO sites in the world and is one of the cities of art to see in a wonderful cultural stay, but not only, even several times in life!
Our excellent Concierge service will be at your disposal.
Impossible not to be overwhelmed by the fascinating history of the city “made from small red bricks” ..
Its illustrious history
“First modern city and one of the most important lordships and culturally founding of the Italian Renaissance, Ferrara was one of the European Capitals of Culture, art, of politics, gastronomy, as well as a reference point for artists, poets and singers. The dynasty Este, a large family of eccentrics and cultured patrons, was able to transform [The lordship Este of Ferrara, established itself in 1.208 and turned it into a duchy, in 1471, but it ended in 1598 ] a rural center in a Renaissance masterpiece World Heritage. Under the rule of the Este (or Este), there, Ferrara enjoyed its centuries of greatest flowering, hosting the most renowned personalities of the field of art and literature and covering a leading role in many fields”
Malagigi Guest House It located in the heart of the City of Bicycles: each guest Art lover, of Culture, Nature and good kitchen can easily visit the charming town of Este.
Its monuments… and not only
We begin with the rural route (We will provide you the map of the City) step by step
Castello Estense. Cathedral of St. George. Rotonda Foschini. Corso Ercole I d'Este: Palazzo dei Diamanti, Palazzo Turchi di Bagno and Palazzo Prosperi. House of Ludovico Ariosto. Massari Palace and Park. Porta degli Angeli. To reach the Jewish cemetery. Piazza Ariostea. You reach Park Pareschi. Cloister of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Marfisa d'Este Palazzina. Romei House. Via delle Volte. Palazzo Costabili, also known as the Palace of Ludovico Sforza said Moro. Monastery of St. Anthony in Polesine.
The Castello Estense, o St. Michael's Castle, is only 500 meters away and is the most representative monument of the city of Ferrara.
“It was the day 29 September by 1385 when the Marquis Nicholas II began the construction of a mighty fortress entrusting the engineer works for the court Bartolino from Novara. It was the day of Saint Michele and the name of the saint Archangel was dedicated to the future Castle”.
The Castello Estense, symbol of Ferrara, became the residence of the Este family, who transformed it into a magnificent residence of the court, numerous important collections for value and consistency (paintings, tapestries, refined objects, illuminated manuscripts, coins, weapons). Following the devolution of the Duchy to the State of the Church in 1598, the Este left Ferrara and from that moment began the dispersion of their assets in the world.
It contains over six hundred years of history within its walls.
“Climbing up the Torre dei Leoni, the oldest tower of the Castle you are offered a unique view of the city, and the opportunity to enjoy a splendid view of Ferrara. Reaching the top, thanks to its 120 steps, the view sweeps, as a bird's flight, from the streets of the historic center of the red brick houses, by countless church towers to the Herculean green areas, all the way to the city walls”.
The cathedral of Ferrara, better known as the Basilica of St. George's Cathedral, stands at the center of the city, opposite the Town Hall, next to the ancient Piazza delle Erbe (now Piazza Trento e Trieste), not far from Castello Estense.
The cathedral of Ferrara in its current form consists of a layering of interventions. Built from 1135, the Romanesque period retains the right side and the lower part of the facade. In the mid-thirteenth century dates from the top of the facade, Renaissance to the apse and the bell tower, the eighteenth century all the intermediate structure.
On the front is a lot of vegetation that recalls life; its tangle, which often covers the whole Christian building, reports the Eden on Earth. There are several animals that can be seen through the leaves of vine, symbols of creation. The church is thus the metaphor of an immense Tree of Life.
just 700 meters from “Malagigi Guest House”, during an evening stroll, you can admire:
“It is a magical place, loaded with charm, almost hidden to the visitor's view; there is the Rotonda Foschini. It is a small oval courtyard, an integral part of the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara, dedicated, as the name suggests, to Antonio Foschini, one of the two designers of the theater. The curious thing is that this oval courtyard was made by the design theater engineer, Cosimo Morelli while Antonio Foschini followed the construction of the front porch with the shops, the grand staircase and the rooms on the main floor. In ancient times, the courtyard was used as a place of transit of carriages from "Corso Martiri della Libertà"street to "Corso Giovecca"street.. In 1825-26 the first restorations were carried out at the roundabout which led to the embellishment of the time with a performance of 'Apotheosis of Ariosto. Today the Rotonda is no longer open to traffic but is used as a pedestrian zone in which demonstrations or conferences are carried out.. The lighting that was added creates a scenario, especially in the evening hours, which is truly magical”.
Corso Ercole I d'Este
The walk continues and after 650 meters begins the splendid Corso Ercole I d'Este, “an important Renaissance Ferrara street running from off the Castle, and reaches the junction with Corso Biagio Rossetti ,goes through Porta Mare and ends at the city walls, at the Porta degli Angeli”
“It was formerly known as Via degli Angeli, the church dedicated to S. Maria degli Angeli which stood along its course. It constitutes one of the two driving axles of’Herculean addition ( urban sprawl of Ferrara in Middle Ages and the modern era has been largely through “additions” or “aggrandimenti” the inhabited area of the city municipal, obtained by incorporation infra moenia of more or less extensive portions of the surrounding territory. Thus the so-called Addition of Nicholas II (after 1386), the one set by Leonello (1442) and then carried out by Borso (from 1451) and finally the one that was implemented pulse Ercole I, between 1492 and 1505, then called Herculean Addition.
The ambitious urban design strategy devised by the second Duke of Ferrara was different from those of his predecessors because of the vastness of infrastructural armor system, the magnificence deployed through new monuments not only dynastic and the length of the fortified circuit. The city doubled in size, reaching an extension comparable to that of the major Italian cities, as Bologna, Florence and Milan and was enriched with numerous houses, palaces and churches)”.
“Devoid of shops and flanked by beautiful buildings, it still retains the characteristic of residential thoroughfare that the duke would grant. Its focal point is the Quadrivio degli Angeli, intersection with the other of the addition axis (Corso Porta Mare – Biagio Rossetti – Porta Po) and underlined by the presence of three decorated palaces : Palazzo Turchi di Bagno , Palazzo Prosperi Sacrati and the magnificent Palazzo dei Diamanti. In the second part of the road, the one that leads to the walls and the Porta degli Angeli, buildings are gradually decreasing in number and importance, until the street becomes very similar to a country road, lined with tall poplars.”
Palazzo dei Diamanti
Palazzo dei Diamanti in 950 meters away, or simply "Diamonds", for all those who come to Ferrara from all over the world to admire the architectural masterpiece was designed by Biagio Rossetti
House of Ludovico Ariosto
Leave Corso Ercole I d'Este for a visit to the House of Ludovico Ariosto, at about 600mt from Palazzo dei Diamanti, turning left into Corso Biagio Rossetti and then right onto the street named after the illustrious poet and playwright of the fifteenth century.
“Parva, sed apta mihi, sed nulli obnoxia, sed non sordida, parta meo, sed tamen aere domus”.
“The house is small but suits me, clean, free of expenses and purchased solely with my money”, this is the inscription on the façade of the house where Ludovico Ariosto (1474 – 1533), spent the last years of his life devoting himself to the third and final edition of Orlando Furioso, edited in 1532.
We return to Corso Ercole I d'Este direction “Porta degli Angeli” and we can admire Palazzo Massari (1.150mt)
“The building stands on the corner of Via Borso and Corso Porta Mare, almost opposite the Piazza Ariostea.
Therefore it stands in an area that was built in the late fifteenth century during the construction of the Herculean zone, but its architectural features makes it distinguish itself from buildings in Rossetti style,, by a history of nearly a century.
It is characterized by a severe late sixteenth century facade, with large windows and it becomes an eighteenth century one with a lower body , fading pale yellow, into an apartment house known as the Knights of Malta. Palazzo Massari is home to three major museums: Museo Giovanni Boldini, nineteenth Museum, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art”.
Massari Park “It takes its name from the adjacent building erected in the late sixteenth century and it is the largest public park within the city walls”
Porta degli Angeli
Porta degli Angeli is 1.750mt from the end of Corso Ercole I d'Este.
Tradition has it that the Porta degli Angeli was released by Cesare d'Este, the last Duke of Ferrara, when, in 1598, the city was devolved to the Papal States.
In the 80's the sixteenth century aspect of the monument was recovered and the access to the top of the tower was restored, from which the view extends to 360 ° over the city, the walls of the Angeli and the Urban Park "G. Bassani”
The Walls of Ferrara
Nine kilometers – one of the most impressive defensive systems of the Middle Ages and Renaissance – which embrace the historic center of Ferrara and can be traveled only on foot or by bicycle, on the embankment or in the moat, below it.
We recommend leaving on this route from the Castello Estense. Along the Corso Ercole I d'Este, you reach the Gate of Angels, the 9 km walls embrace the historic center of Ferrara and can be traveled on foot or by bicycle, on the embankment or in the moat, below it. You encounter "baluardi" ( watchtowers), towers, gunboats, doors and stairs which witness the various defensive techniques developed over the centuries. Surrounded by green trees and meadows, the Walls now constitute a huge garden, a place of rest and meeting place for the residents of the city. For a pleasant digression further in the green, we recommend the walk to Via delle Erbe, to immerse yourself in a particular urban countryside, nestled in the heart and historical center of the beautiful city”
To reach the Jewish cemetery
To reach the Jewish cemetery, you must leave the Walls behind you and head for nature in Via delle Vigne and you arrive at a place of silence:
“Not far from the Christian cemetery, surrounded by the Herculean area, is the old Garden of the Jews, an area purchased in Ferrara by the community in the seventeenth century, a place of charm and silence, where nature, itself, embraces and almost comprehends tombstones.
The Jewish cemetery in Via delle Vigne, still in use, is the oldest in Emilia Romagna. It is located close to a stretch of the walls Este, and most of its history dates back to 1626, besides a tomb, which date back to the year 1549, as is reported by some sixteenth century scholars . The portal was built in 1911 according to the project by the Ferrara Jewish architect Ciro Contini as the last expansion and renovation.
It houses the tomb of Giorgio Bassani and the monument dedicated to him, realized by the sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro and the architect Piero Sartogo in 2003. The plaque seems to come up from the horizontal stand, also bronze, creating an ideal contact between heaven and earth. The effect of the incisions is a series of geometric patterns which seem to draw the typeface of a typewriter or a tiny writing Giorgio Bassani, while the foreground elements reminiscent of the Hebrew alphabet characters. All around the semicircle drawn by Sartogo delimits the space like a hug”.
Piazza Ariostea, at the end of Via delle Vigne, is an ideal place for family relaxation:
“The particular oval-shaped square and the low floor, also famous for the Palio races, is the work of Biagio Rossetti.
The urban intention was to give the new city (called the Herculean Addition) a point of self-aggregation.
The square, framed by two palaces in Rossetti style with loggia, was formerly called Piazza Nuova, but later named after the poet Ludovico Ariosto, As a matter of fact,Ariosto's statue stands in the center at the top of a column”
You reach Park Pareschi
You reach Park Pareschi, continuing from Via delle Vigne, through via Montebello and, than, turning left into Corso della Giovecca, a few meters from the University of Ferrara, the "via Savonarola"venue
The Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie
Marfisa d'Este Palazzina, Just about two kilometers away, walking down Corso della Giovecca you will come up to this building:
“The house is a magnificent example of elegant residence of the sixteenth century and was once surrounded by beautiful gardens that connected it to other buildings, known as Casini di San Silvestro.
Built by Francesco d'Este, son of Duke Alfonso I and Lucrezia Borgia, the residence was inherited by his princess Marfisa d'Este, which it is named after, and where she lived until her death, refusing to leave Ferrara after Devolution of the city to the Papal States, when his family moved to Modena. She died in Marfisa house in 1608, The house then underwent a series of changes by owners until it was fitted and opened as a museum in 1935. The facade of the building on Corso Giovecca is made of bricks scanned by large rectangular windows. The large back garden is now closed by a loggia with interior decoration in vine shoots, used as a theater”
Romei House, not far away is a “magnificent example of elegant residence dating between the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and has a particularly impressive main courtyard”
Via delle Volte
“Suggestive medieval street, that marks the axis along which the so-called linear seventh century Ferrara , divided, from the eleventh century part of Ferrara . C. and had a significant influence on the subsequent development of the whole city.
In Via delle Volte in-depth development was solved architecturally with the creation of the supended passages, the current vaults dotting the street, used to connect the warehouses on the river bank to the workshops-houses towards the center.
It's’ advisable to take a good stretch of the road to enjoy the view of fourteenth and fifteenth century buildings, as well as the charm of the lanes from which they arise”
Palazzo Costabili, also called Palace of Ludovico Sforza called il Moro, who was thought to have been the owner, was actually owned by an Estense ambassador from the Moro's court, that is , Antonio Costabili. The initial project was made by architect Biagio Rossetti, the famous master of Renaissance architecture. It is now home to the National Archaeological Museum
Monastery of St. Anthony in Polesine
Monastery of St. Anthony in Polesine, a small religious community of Benedictine nuns houses the prized cloistered environment of the St. Anthony monastery in Polesine dating back to the thirteenth century. The first convent in the town of Este, the St.Antonio complex. was created to accommodate Beatrice d'Este, and young people, like her, who intended to follow the Benedictine rule
Palazzo Schifanoia, was commissioned at the end of '300 by Alberto d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara in 1385 .He ordered the design of a square building, where he wanted to spend his leisure time. The building is a delightful Este place destined to represent leisure, .It's name means "take of boredom", in the sense of taking boredom away from the daily tasks of the government through cultural and playful entertainment.
The reopening of Palazzo Schifanoia is postponed to a later date
Minerbi – Dal Sale House
“An extraordinary building dating back to the Middle Ages that takes its name from two families that have owned it for most of its history: Dal Sale family from the fourteenth century, and Minerbi family from the late nineteenth.
The Dal Sale family, very close to the Este dynasty, had settled in a very important area of the historic city and they decorate the rooms on the first floor of their house with extraordinary fresco paintings, of which the Hall of Coat and the Hall with the cycle of Vices and Virtues, highest examples of the fourteenth century painting still remain.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the Minerbi family bought the building and, in 1957, Giuseppe Minerbi commissioned the architect Piero Bottoni to restore it. The result is a very balanced dialogue between the ancient and the contemporary, and for years it becomes the place where artists, writers and intellectuals met and recently it was reopened to the city as a Bassani Studies Center.
Biagio Rossetti House
Biagio Rossetti House, was built in 1490 by the court architect Biagio Rossetti, a great urbanist, as well as civil and military engineer, universally remembered as the creator and main author of the Herculean area, the famous master plan commissioned by Duke Ercole I d'Este.
Designed initially as a simple house for himself and his family, when the job became prestigious. the architect involved two talented artists active at the Este court who decorated it and painted the building both externally and internally: and the house became a veritable mansion. The historic building was of Rossetti property until the mid-seventeenth century; in 1974 the house was purchased by the city of Ferrara and restored. From 1998 and until a few years ago, it hosted the Museum of Architecture and today it is the prestigious seat of the municipal offices.
The bassaniani places are another recommended destination for a walk
Grow up within the walls of Ferrara, undoubtedly one of italian greatest contemporary writers, Giorgio Bassani chose to set in the Estense city his entire work of fiction. It's enough, there, to read a few pages of his most famous novels to find streets, alleys and squares that belong to the city nowadays but that, at the same time, acquire very special meaning. as for example the Synagogue (not internally visited) the Ariostea Library, not to mention the long searched legendary "Garden of the Finzi-Contini" at the center of his best-known work.”
The oldest wine in the world
And at the end of our “strolls” in the city, a little relaxation with a toast in the world's oldest wineshop
Next to the Cathedral lies the typical restaurant "Al Brindisi" dating , as far as 1435, and considered the oldest wineshop in the world, frequented by people such as Nicholas Copernicus, Torquato Tasso and Ludovico Ariosto. Attraction sought by tourists, but also by people living in Ferrara, it is a must for anyone visiting Ferrara, not only for the chance to taste excellent local dishes but also for the variety of wine offered.
Homeland of " Well-eating", Ferrara has a culinary tradition that stretches its roots in medieval times, to the Este court and has profoundly affected the habits of local.
“At the time, Ferrara was in fact a worldly and aristocratic place. Among the richest and most sumptuous Renaissance courts, refuge for poets such as Boiardo, Ariosto and Tasso, Ferrara in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was considered one of the most illustrious and famous cities in Europe. The ceremonious life at the Estense court provided for sumptuous banquets for which the craftsmen of the city of Faenza were already involved at the time manufacturing special ceramic pottery for the Dukes in the 1400s.
But Ferrara was also the place where for the first time, rules for the diners became standard. The Este Etiquette, among many prescriptions, provided that the meat was no longer torn by hand, as the barbarians used to, but was served already cut in the guests' plates . Concidered as the art of "the time", the servant was in charge of cutting and serving the meat; there is a famous episode where a butler from Ferrara Christopher da Messisbugo, knew how to serve meat to the Emperor Charles V so well that Charles awarded him the title of Count Palatine.
In short Ferrara was one of the places where, thanks to the presence of a rich court, of advanced businesses and a highly fertile surrounding territory, the foundations of what we now call "Italian Cuisine" developed.
The typical dishes of Ferrara then bring with them the scent of ancient preparations and flavor combinations that give a taste of the Renaissance noble courts where sweet and savory, spices and local fruits, altogether contributed to the creation of flavors lost in the pages of history”.
Among the typical dishes in Ferrara cuisine we must name "pumpkin-filled cappellacci", a dish already know in the estense time. Having that particular form of a hat (hence the name) they contain a soft "violina" pumpkin filling which , creates a unique, sweet-sour flavor, a true marvel for the palate
The Pasticcio di Maccheroni Ferrara is a typical dish of the Carnival period. Again it is a recipe of ancient tradition that dates back to the banquets of the Estense family and consists of a shell of shortbread pastry, in which sauce topped macaroni are stored, seasoned with béchamel white sauce and mushrooms; so this particular dish is then heated and then presented to the palate as a mingle of sweet and savoury .
Salama da Sugo
Among the specialties of Ferrara, perhaps the one that more than others has survived unchanged over the centuries and is still prepared according to the ancient, strict recipe is. "The Salama da Sugo", which it is not a salami, It is a mixture of minced porkmeat seasoned in with red wine, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves and other secret ingredients that no artisan of taste will never be willing to reveal.
It is aged for about a year, before being served, It requires a long boiling in water, covered in a cloth because to avoid cracking and hung in such a way that it does not touch the pot. To eat it, it is uncovered and dug to get the soft and tasty center using a spoon, it is FORBIDDEN to use a knife. It is usually accompanied by mashed potatoes, but it is much more "Este-like" (The potatoes came only after, the discovery of America) to associate it with traditional mashed pumpkin, that gives the whole a sweet-savoury contrast of ancient tradition.
The Gingerbread cake that the city of Ferrara shares with many areas of Central Italy. One of its main ingredient is cocoa, which at the time had just arrived, in the 18th century, to Europe from the New World and was considered a luxury item for the few.
In the form of a half dome, containing almonds, hazelnuts, candied fruit and fragrant spices use in Renaissance times, It derives its name from the ancient name of " Pope's Bread"(pane-papato), just for being a sweet rich and sumptuous. Today you can find it under the name of Panpapato and is typical as a Christmas cake, at parties and it represents the wealth and sophistication of Ferrara.
The Tenerina Cake is a cake from Emilia-Romagna's most famous and appreciated, arcane power of chocolate, but the land that gave birth to this delicious cake is the city of Ferrara.
Note since 1900, 1900s the people of Ferrara nicknamed it "tacolenta cake", for its almost sticky internal consistency that melts in your mouth, delighting the palate. Served with sugar icing or mascarpone, this beautiful and tasty cake, shows a crisp shell that reveals inside a heart of soft melted chocolate still semi-liquid
A city to live in every season: indeed, there, are many celebrations that animate Ferrara during the year, targeted to a very diverse audience and to meet the needs of all! From the famous Palio di San Giorgio, is that usually held on the’last Sunday in May, with parades, performances and competitions between the eight districts
the more distinctive "Buskers Festival", usually late August, transforming the city into a temple of free music bringing together musicians and artists from all over the world
the extravagant "Ferrara Balloons Festival", one of the largest and most important festivals of hot air balloons on the world
The "International" festival that conveys some of the most prestigious journalists, Italian and foreign writers and intellectuals
“Malagigi Guest House” invites its guests to visit Ferrara as Travelers!