Photographing Ferrara: 8 must-see places

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Ferrara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has maintained its original urban structure over the centuries: an almost intact historic centre, dating back to a period between the medieval age and the Renaissance, surrounded by walls of almost 9 km.

With its narrow streets, cobbled surfaces, squares, majestic palaces, walls and imposing castle, the city is heaven on earth for anyone who loves to capture unforgettable moments with their camera or mobile phone.

Doors opening onto delightful gardens, balconies with plants and flowers, buildings that still display ancient decorative features: Ferrara offers unexpected surprises at every turn.

Whether you're a professional or an amateur, get ready to capture the magic of this unique city. You can easily get from one place to another on foot or by bike and take beautiful photos in a variety of lighting conditions.

  • Length
    24 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop - Estense Castle and Leoni Tower Ferrara

    Estense Castle is the very symbol of Ferrara and a must for any photography enthusiast. This imposing medieval fortress surrounded by a moat offers the perfect setting for breathtaking photos. 

    Inside, the walls speak of past stories of courtly love and insidious plots, great plans and dreams of glory. From the ground floor rooms to the dank dungeons and the hanging garden of oranges, to the great frescoed halls of the piano nobile, the visit allows you to traverse centuries of the building's history. On the way you will learn much about the Este family who ruled the city and territory for more than three hundred years.

    The intricate architectural details and majesty of the towers are even more spectacular at sunset when the light plays on the ancient stones. Climb the 120 steps of the Leoni Tower and admire the magnificent view over the city from the balcony – a must-photograph opportunity.

  • Second stop – Squares of the medieval historic centre Ferrara

    The historic centre, in the area between the Castle and Ferrara Cathedral, features a number of important and evocative squares.
    We start with the cobblestoned Piazza Castello, flanked by the imposing fortress; we then move on to Piazza Savonarola with the monument of the famous Friar of Ferrara, and immediately afterwards to Piazza del Municipio, the ancient inner courtyard of the Ducal Palace, still dominated by the outer grand staircase. 

    Finally, we arrive at Piazza Trento Trieste, once known as "Piazza delle Erbe", which runs alongside the Cathedral. We can pause to admire the beautiful south wall and the bell tower in white and pink marble. We recommend visiting early in the morning when the sunlight gently kisses the cathedral, creating a magical atmosphere.

    Each of these squares is perfect for photographing. One of the classic local subjects you won't want to miss is the typical Ferrara citizen riding a bicycle. 

  • Third stop – Via delle Volte and ancient streets of the Jewish ghetto Ferrara

    The medieval streets of Ferrara are still brimful of ancient charm, from the Via delle Volte with its narrow "vaulted" passages, to the long, sinuous streets of the old Jewish quarter.

    The perspective of the arcades and the particular shape of the streets are perfect for snapping during the day – when there are beautiful contrasts of light and shadow, and at night when the dramatic streetlighting effects makes the sensation of time travel even more vivid.

  • Fourth stop – Rotonda Foschini in the Municipal Theatre Ferrara

    The Rotonda Foschini is a small elliptical courtyard located inside the eighteenth-century Municipal Theatre of Ferrara. It is dedicated to Antonio Foschini, who designed the theatre together with Cosimo Morelli.
    This public space once served as an alighting area for the carriages of audience members attending the theatre for performances.

    The current lighting arrangement creates a unique atmosphere, especially when day becomes evening, and the patch of blue sky framed by the rotunda lapses into starry night. The location is great for photos of all kinds with special effects.

  • Fifth stop – Corso Ercole I d’Este and Palazzo dei Diamanti Ferrara

    The northern rivelin of the Castle is the starting point of Corso Ercole I d’Este, one of the most beautiful streets in Europe and one that has fascinated travellers in every era.

    The collection of Renaissance palaces along its sides, accompanied by other monumental buildings, reaches a crescendo of magnificence at the Quadrivio degli Angeli (Crossroads of the Angels).

    This is where the majestic Palazzo dei Diamanti stands resplendent. The façade decorated with diamond-shaped marble blocks creates extraordinary light effects, making this building an irresistible subject for architectural photographers, as well as a great backdrop for unforgettable portraits.

  • Sixth stop – Piazza Ariostea Ferrara

    Not far from Palazzo dei Diamanti is Piazza Ariostea, dedicated to the Renaissance poet Ludovico Ariosto, whose statue stands in the middle of the large green lawn.

    Piazza Ariostea is the city's Renaissance square that was at the time named Piazza Nuova (New Square), to distinguish it from the medieval Piazza Trento Trieste, on the southern side of the Cathedral.

    The palaces overlooking the square feature airy loggias with arches and wooden ceilings that offer unusual and evocative views. 

  • Seventh stop – Monumental Charterhouse Ferrara

    The Charterhouse of Ferrara is a unique part of the rich monumental panorama of Ferrara. This is the "green lung" in the heart of the city that harbours memories of the past and masterpieces of sacred art.

    The visitor first comes upon the Church of San Cristoforo, bounded by beautiful curved porticoes that envelope the large adjoining lawn. 

    This large and airy place merits silence and decorum. It can bestow strong emotions to anyone who visits it, thanks to its beautiful views and timeless atmosphere.

  • Eighth stop - Mura degli Angeli Ferrara

    Ferrara is surrounded by imposing Renaissance walls – perfect for long photo-op walks. Every corner of the walls offers spectacular views of the city or surrounding countryside.

    Corso Ercole I d’Este meets the walls at Porta degli Angeli, once a gateway to the ducal hunting grounds that extended up to the River Po.

    The walls surrounding this area of the city, part of the Erculean Addition of Renaissance times, are known as the Mura degli Angeli and enclose the Christian Cemetery of the Charterhouse and the Jewish Cemetery. They are one of the most evocative features of the entire city walls, and one of the most picturesque to photograph.

Last update 19/01/2024

Information offices

IAT - Ufficio Informazioni Accoglienza Turistica Ferrara
Largo Castello - Ferrara (FE)
+ 39 0532 419190 Opening: all year round

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