The northern Italian city of Ferrara is equally recommended for several reasons, and not just for a day trip (about 50km from Comacchio away). For one thing it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so there is much to see.
Secondly, Ferrara is the most bicycle-friendly city in Italy. As a member of the European urban network Cities for Cyclist it is comparable in this respect only to Amsterdam. We therefore recommend to visit the many attractions by bike.
Ferrara has always been ruled by the Este family. Their former leader, the Marquis Alberto d'Este of Ferrara, rose Schifanoia ("banish the boredom") as his motto. In a sense he reminds us at Frederick Sanssoucci, albeit Alberto lived much earlier.
In this magnificent city you will be anything but bored. The Este family had over 300 years (1264-1597) of time to expand its seat of power to one of the most beautiful ones in Europe. They invoked the most famous artists of her time to her court, such as Jacopo Bellini, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Tizian, to name a few.
The historic center of Ferrara is one of the first examples of modern urban planning in the world. In 1995 was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The whole medieval city wall of 9 km in length is intact and can only be explored on foot or by bicycle.
The bicycle, by the way, is the topmost important mean of transportation of the Ferraresi. Almost 90% of the population use it to do their errands and each of them has at least two of them.
- The massive cathedral in the center with its Romanesque-Gothic facade.
- Facing the cathedral in the west, the first castle of Este, the Town Hall with a beautiful staircase in the courtyard,
- then the massive water castle Estense from the 14th century and the statue of Girolamo Savonarola, who was born in Ferrara in 1452.
- Continue north of the castle on the Corso Ercole I d'Este for a fantastic façade of the Palazzo dei Diamanti (today Pinacoteca Nazionale). Builder and architect of this palace was Biagio Rossetti (1447-1516).
- Palazzo Schifanoia - built for pure pleasure and pastime in the countryside. It perfectly reflects the luxury of that court. It contains the Salone dei Mesi (Salon of the months) with excellent frescoes. For its time it was a sensational presentation of the sexual act of Mars and Aphrodite.
- Finally, you should also take a look at the Church of Corpus Domini which served as the Este's grave. Here also the most famous Duchess d'Este was buried - the infamous Lucrezia Borgia.