Don't be put off by the dingy bar at the front. At the back is one of the friendliest restaurants in Italy, presided over by the splendid Norberto. The food is simple but excellent and not at all expensive. Pizzas and Salama da Sugo con Pure are particularly good. For years it has been the favourite watering hole for performers at the Teatro Communale and Ferrara Musica. After concerts the place is very lively and, unusually for Ferrara, it closes late.
Wooden, atmospheric, and crammed with dusty wine bottles, this charming enoteca has not only of being the oldest winebar in Europe but also as having had Copernicus as a tenant while he was a student in Ferrara. Although most come at night to drink, they also serve exclusively Ferrarese fare such as pasticcio and cappellacci di zucca for dinner (the portions are small, so make sure to eat a real Italian meal and order both a primo and a secondo).
Holiday apartments in a 3 stars farm holiday just 5 minutes from Ferrara. Excellent point from which to explore all of Emilia Romagna and Veneto. Historical building, completely restructured. Swimming pool, Internet Wi-Fi, Internet point, barbecues corner, large equipped garden, laundry room and internal car parking. Open all year round. Very reasonable prices.
It was the only summer residence of Este family located inside the city walls. Today the main attraction of the palace is ''Salone dei Mesi'' ("Hall of the Months") decorated by pagan cycle frescos representing the months of a year. Unfortunately for a few centuries the frescos were plastered, so only some of them survived.
It's the bar that looks a little like a greenhouse set up right against the moat with tables outside. With a "make your own panino" option on the menu, friendly waiters, and an ideal location literally in the shadow of the Castello, it makes a perfect lunch stop.
Located just around the corner from IBS.it Bookstore, this bar is the best place for ''l'aperitivo'' in Ferrara, mainly because a single drink will also get you a plateful of fantastic appetizers, out of which cheapskate students know they can make a dinner.
The castle, built in 1385, is the main attraction of the city. It is one of a few moated medieval castles remained in Europe. See painted ceilings, the ''Golden Room'', the duchesses' ''Camerino'', don't miss its medieval dungeon.
On Via Boccacanale di Santo Stefano (a cross-street of Via Garibaldi), this intimate cafè/bar offers a good selection of wines, salads, sandwiches, and desserts with friendly service and, at one point in time, free wifi access.
Very popular with the students, packed most weekend and Wednesday nights, also Tuesday nights which are traditionally "Erasmus Night," dedicated to the many foreign students who spend the semester or year here.
Located on a backstreet near Via delle Volte, at Via Voltecasotto 3, this charming and inexpensive trattoria offers a variety of local Ferrarese specialties. Garden seating available in warmer weather.
Currently ''Museo Archeologico Nazionale'' (National Archaeological Museum) is located there. The collection of the museum mostly consists of various artifacts excavated from Greek and Etruscan tombs.
A small, unremarkable-looking Sicilian pizzeria which serves without a doubt the best pizza in town. Try the "Diablo" and make sure to chat with the friendly owners, even if it's in sign language.
Currently at the 1st floor it hosts ''Pinacoteca Nazionale'' (National Gallery). The ground floor is dedicated for [http://www.palazzodiamanti.it/895/palazzo-dei-diamanti temporary exhibitions].
At Via San Romano 99, this bar offers a generous and delicious buffet at aperitivo hour. Don't forget to order the spritz, a northern Italian apertif cocktail made up of prosecco and Aperol.
The oldest enoteca in Europe that can boast of having had Copernicus as a tenant when he was a student in Ferrara. Located at Via degli Adelardi, the street just to the left of the Duomo.
A little on the costly side, but for a quick bite head down Via Garibaldi to the piadina stand across from the Indian restaurant. Don't forget to try the perfectly cooked French fries.
The convent church is open to the public. There are some 17th century ceiling frescos by Andrea Ferreri, also in the side chapels there are some frescoes of the school of Giotto.
Once located upstairs in an alley just off Via Mazzini, recently moved 100 meters further, this friendly restaurant offers regular meals but its specialty is pizza.
If you can find it in the backstreets, this bar has a lively atmosphere...not to mention the board games and the craft beer from the Biren brewery.
It's construction begun in the 12th century, so the lower part of the building has characteristic Romanesque appearance.
The Jewish Museum and the Synagogue are located at the former ghetto (along the street used to be called Via Sabbioni).
Located right next to the Savonarola statue, this restaurant offers a good selection of traditional Ferrarese fare.
Connections to: Bologna (0.5-1h, €3-€7), Florence (2-3h, €8-€20), Venice (1.5-2.5h, €6-€12), Ravenna.
This Renaissance church was a part of a Carthusian monastery, which is now a cemetery site.
Just in front to the Castle, about 15 minutes walk form the train station. Charming Hotel.
A small Greek restaurant with decent Greek food, though a bit pricey for the amount.
It used to be a street with various shops and workshops during heydays of the city.
Located in the countryside is is a typical trattoria serving traditional dishes.
7th century abbey N of the Comacchio, abandoned in the 17th century.
It is one of the best preserved Renaissance building in Ferrara.
An opera house, built between 1786 and 1797.
It's an example of Renaissance-style villa.
Although it certainly has a thriving tourism industry, Ferrara is not on the typical foreign tourist's itinerary, which makes it perfect for those tourists who want to get off the beaten path of Venice-Florence-Rome and soak in some authentic northern Italian culture. It's characterized by twisting medieval cobblestoned streets, a Duomo (cathedral) with a looming Gothic façade, and—best of all—a castle straight out of storybooks, complete with towers, moat, and drawbridges (that you can cross during the day). Thanks to the d'Este family of astute art patrons, Ferrara contains many beautiful objects de arte, but the genuine masterpiece is the city itself. Half medieval, half Renaissance, the dual cityscape was the vision of oligarch Ercole d'Este, who hired architect Biagio Rossetti to seamlessly meld the newer section to the old. This careful planning earned Ferrara the title of Italy's first "modern city." Today, its captivating, anachronistic ambience is best explored on foot or by bicycle. Touring the sites will occupy a day, but after that the best way to experience Ferrara is to relax at one (or several) of its cafes and enjoy ''la vita italiana'' going on around you. *