Thursday, 22 November 2012


Ferrara, which grew up around a ford over the River Po, became an intellectual and artistic centre that attracted the greatest minds of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. Here, Piero della Francesca, Jacopo Bellini and Andrea Mantegna decorated the palaces of the House of Este. The humanist concept of the 'ideal city' came to life here in the neighbourhoods built from 1492 onwards by Biagio Rossetti according to the new principles of perspective. The completion of this project marked the birth of modern town planning and influenced its subsequent development -
On our way from Florence to Venice, we decided to stop off at two UNESCO sites which were more or less on the way - Ferrara, and Padua. To be honest, I would've been more keen to sample the famed culinary delights of Bologna and Modena (the latter is even a UNESCO site!), however both were really a lot more out of our way, so I suppose I'll have to leave them for a later trip. Despite its historic buildings, Ferrara was a lot more like a modern city than just some tourist attraction. First we visited Castello Estense, pictured above and below.
I'm on a moat!
Then we wandered around a bit. Here are more photos. (Sorry, can't really find much more to say about this place, it was early...)
Arches within arches - archception?
The aptly named 'diamond palace' - apparently one of the most famous in Italy
I just thought this looked cool
Of course, if we hadn't stopped in Ferrara then I would never have stumbled across these sassy marzipan pigs in a random food market.
Knowing marzipan, probably tastes gross, but at least they look cute...
We also went to McDonald's where James had an insanely thick hot chocolate.

As adventurous as I am about food, I wasn't game enough to purchase this awkwardly fecal-looking pastry.
Luckily for us, UNESCO signs were abundant throughout the town. Here is James posing with one of the first ones we found.

[Flickr set here]

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