Get lost in the medieval streets of Ferrara and take a stroll through the city’s rich history while discovering its culinary specialties.
Our culinary and cultural journey through Emilia Romagna stops in Ferrara. Let’s uncover the secrets of this enchanting city, that lies about 30 miles from the sea, were history and flavor blend together seamlessly. Everything from the stunning Estense Castle to the mouthwatering local delicacies like salama da sugo, mortadella, and pasticcio di maccheroni, buckle up and get ready to discover the captivating history and delicious cuisine of this picturesque Italian gem!
Culture & History
Ferrara is pleasantly uncrowded (you’ll see more locals than tourists!) and has retained much of its charming medieval atmosphere over the years. Walking through its streets is like walking through history. Here are a few places you need to visit to take a dive into the city’s glorious past.
Let’s start with Ferrara’s top attraction. Also known as Saint Michael’s Castle, this medieval stronghold was built in the 16th century to protect the ruling Este family in the event of riots. With a moat, three drawbridges, and four massive towers, the red brick castle dominates the historical center of the city.
Close to the castle and part of the UNESCO site, the cathedral is an architectural staple of the city’s history. Its facade moves from a Romanesque lower tier, built at the beginning of the 12th century, upward to a beautiful early Gothic walkway from the 18th century.
This palace is hard to miss, with its entire exterior covered in more than 8,500 faceted marble blocks. Today, the palace contains the Pinacoteca Nazionale (National Gallery), with artwork by 13th- to 17th-century painters.
Interested in discovering the city’s culinary specialties? Apart from Mortadella and cold cuts in general, there are so many options to choose from when in Ferrara. Here are a few essentials you can’t miss if you’re curious about experiencing the city’s authentic cuisine.
According to historical records, the origins of this fine Italian pork sausage can be traced back to pre-Renaissance times, and even today it is still produced exclusively in the Emilia-Romagna region, namely the province of Ferrara. It’s typically served with mashed potatoes, and is considered a classic winter-time dish.
This elaborate treat is made with a mixture of maccheroni pasta, truffles, rich meat ragù, and nutmeg-flavored béchamel, all wrapped in a sweet shortcrust pastry, decoratively shaped to resemble a priest’s hat. How cool is that?
If you have a sweet tooth, this is going to be your favourite! The name of this Italian classic translates as tender cake, and with only five ingredients – chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar, and cornstarch – this flourless dessert truly lives up to its name.
So, if you are planning a trip to Italy, Ferrara is definitely worth a visit!
If you happen to stop by, don’t forget to tag @veroni_usa in your stories.