Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ferrara fun

I recently read a book set in Renaissance Ferrara. While the book was pretty average and most of the action took place within the walls of a (fictional?) convent, it did quite a good job of evoking an atmosphere of a fog-bound, broodingly mysterious city. The reality was somewhat less mysterious, and definitely less foggy. Ferrara is a city of quiet charms rather than in your face attractions (we didn't go to the castle and the cathedral was closed due to earthquake damage, so this may not be an altogether fair statement). It was a nice place to wander around for a day though, although there was a lot of hustle and bustle so it wasn't really a quiet, relaxing destination for all that.

We started at the Palazzo Schifanoia, renowned for the "Hall of the Months", decorated with frescoes representing the months of the year, along with different gods in "triumph" for each month. Much of the hall is damaged and faded, but there are still some beautiful and intriguing works of art on display.

Each Olympian god has a chariot drawn by different beasts. Here it's monkeys

And here swans
Next to the Hall of the Months is the Hall of Virtues - and that's pretty much all that there is to see at the Schifanoia. But well worth seeing.

Ceiling in the Hall of Virtues

The rest of our time was spent wandering around the city, full of arches, alleys and cobblestoned streets. 

Duomo selfie

Street leading to the Duomo

In front of the castle

A particularly photogenic street is the Via della Volte, a cobblestoned medieval street covered in arches.

The castle and its moat by night

The duomo by night

Spooky statue of Savonarola, the firebrand Renaissance preacher who was born in Ferrara
Maybe not the most action-packed place and a day is probably enough, but it was a nice visit. 

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, the streets by night are magic! They remind me of my trip to Florence.


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