This ancient alleys and sumptuous palazzi of this magic city are steeped in the history and splendour of the Nobles Estensi and the Renaissance. Ferrara has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO for the protection of its unique monuments and architecture.
Ferrara began its municipal and cultural development towards the end of the 14th Century, when it was further graced by the addition of today Duomo (the Cathedral), constructed in Romanic-Gothic style between the 12th and 14th Centuries holding numerous frescoes, paintings and sculpture by Garofano, Guercino, and Bastianino (16th Century) together with numerous other monastic centers. Ferrara can be neatly divided into two distinct architectural styles: the Medieval area that runs from the Castle along Via della Giovecca, Via delle Volte and Porta d’Amore, and the Renaissance area that includes Street Ercole I d’Este (know as "degli Angeli" long ago) that leads to the ring that closed the daunting, splendid walls in ancient times.
The city symbols are the Castello Estense (Este Castle), begun in 1385 as a fort and completed in the 16th Century astride the two areas above, an architectural treasure with its Medieval Tower of Lions, subterranean dungeons, gothic chambers on the ground floor, and spacious halls with frescoes by Bastianino, Girolamo da Carpi and the Filippi father and sons (16th Cent. Game Room); Palazzo dei Diamanti presents an interrupted geometric facade of stone worked to diamond shape. Ferrara can be explored by simply strolling through its streets, the actual annals of Renaissance time and culture, that amply suggest the city glorious past even today. History stands on every corner, in its sumptuous palaces and winding Medieval alleys, and comes alive once again in the colours and music of the annual pageant of Palio di San Giorgio. A truly special atmosphere reigns in the city center, where the rhythm of life is cadenced by the passing of hundreds of bicycles amidst the shores and coffee shops.