Explore the Renaissance gem of Ferrara, a city so architecturally and historically important that it has been deemed a World Heritage Site.
Depart from the pier and as you drive in a northwesterly direction, the Italian countryside soon reveals its charms. Fertile farmland, earthen colors and a keen sense of history prevail throughout the Po Valley. The past is especially revered in Ferrara, a planned Renaissance city whose layout influenced urban design for centuries.
Ferrara’s network of broad, straight, parallel streets were plotted around the city’s lavish churches and palaces, the most impressive of which you’ll see during your guided walking tour. The largest monument from the medieval period is the city cathedral, a Romanesque-Gothic masterpiece containing important artwork such as bronze statues of saints and paintings from the Ferrara school.
Among the finest palaces is the Palazzo dei Diamanti or “Diamond Palace,” whose façade is adorned with thousands of pointed marbled blocks carved to represent diamonds. Inside lies the acclaimed National Gallery of Ferrara. You’ll also enjoy a grand view of the imposing Estense Castle in the center of town, a medieval fortress complete with a moat, drawbridges and four towers.
While walking through the Jewish Ghetto, be sure to read the historical markers that tell the story of the community, a version of which was retold in the book “The Garden of Finzi-Continis” and the Academy Award-winning 1971 film of the same name. Finally, you’ll have free time to explore a bit on your own before driving back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of walking/standing plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be some steps and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing (conservative dress please for entering the religious sites); sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat comfortable walking shoes are recommended.