FERRARA, ITALY | The World Heritage Site

ITLAY: Ferrara is a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, Capital city of the Province of Ferrara. It is situated 50 kilometres (31 miles) north-northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po River, located 5 km (3 miles) north.

The town has broad streets and numerous palaces dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, when it hosted the court of the House of Este. For its beauty and cultural importance it has been qualified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Modern times have brought a renewal of industrial activity. Ferrara is on the main rail line from Bologna to Padua and Venice, and has branches to Ravenna, Poggio Rusco (for Suzzara) and Codigoro.

It’s known for the buildings erected by its Renaissance rulers, the Este family. These include the moated Este Castle, with its lavish private chambers. The family also built the Diamanti Palace, which is clad in diamond-shaped marble blocks and home to the National Picture Gallery. The Romanesque Ferrara Cathedral has a 3-tiered facade and a marble bell tower.

Popular times to visit Ferrara are spring (Mar–May) and late summer to autumn (Aug–Oct). Summers (Jun–Aug) are hot and humid. The Palio di Ferrara (May) is a horse race that the city has hosted since 1259. The Ferrara International Piano Festival (Jul) includes concerts, recitals and master classes. International music fills the streets during the Ferrara Buskers Festival (Aug). Hot-air balloon flights over the city are offered during the Ferrara Balloons Festival (Sep). Winters (Dec–Feb) are often wet and foggy.

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