Ferrara is a province in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
Cities and towns
- 1 Ferrara is a beautiful city, embellished by the Este dynasty, yet it escapes the tourist hordes.
- 2 Bondeno has a 17th century fortress. The town was damaged by the earthquake of 2012.
- 3 Cento has much medieval artwork by Guercino.
- 4 Portomaggiore is a historic river port long disputed between Ravenna and Ferrara.
- 5 Mesola has a castle built by the Estes.
- 6 Codigoro has a 9th century Abbey, the Bishop's Palace, and the 18th century Finance Tower.
- 7 Comacchio is a delta town on 13 islands.
The flat, fertile plain of the River Po has always been one of the most productive and populous areas of Italy. The Romans brought the valley under their control from 200 BC, cutting a road javelin-straight from Piacenza to the coast at Rimini. Ferrara was some way north of this route and seems to have been a quiet provincial place until 8th century documents record its capture by the Lombards. The problem may have been the flood-prone and malarial lower stretches of the Po, with large-scale drainage only beginning in the 19th century. The area was ruled by the Este family until 1598 then by the Pope until early modern times - and the Este wealth remained vast enough for the archdukes of Austria-Hungary to adopt that name when they married into the family.
The province in 2016 had a population of 354,238. It's mostly agricultural with some heavy industry; the main reason to visit is the city of Ferrara itself. In May 2012 the province suffered two earthquakes, with the worst of the damage around Bondeno and in the neighbouring Province of Modena.
The province is midway between Venice and Bologna airports.
Trains run hourly from Venice to Padua, Ferrara and Bologna.
Autoroute A13 runs north-south from Padua through Ferrara to Bologna.
Trenitalia regional trains run from Ferrara to Bondeno, Portomaggiore and Codigoro.
- Ferrara top sights are the Este Castle and the Diamond Palace.
- Portomaggiore has the Pleasure Palace, Delizia del Verginese.
- Bondeno has the mighty star fortress.
- Codigoro has a 9th century abbey.
- There's a beach at Commachio.
- Football: SPAL based in Ferrara play soccer in Serie B, Italy's second tier. For Serie A games head for Bologna.
- Pasticcio is shortcrust pastry filled with pasta topped with meat sauce, mushrooms and béchamel.
- Cappelletti are pasta stuffed with pumpkin.
- Salama da sugo is a salami made with fillet, pulp, tongue and red wine, boiled and surrounded by mashed potatoes.
- Panpepato is a traditional dessert.
- Lots of good wine from Emilia-Romana. Commachio produces Bosco Eliceo, a DOC red which unusually goes well with fish.
Standard advice about traffic and care of valuables.