When you are in Ferrara and want to see something tha engages you, I'd suggest these peculiar places, as the Estense town is quite small and can be easily toured in a day by foot.
So, let's go to:
Estense Castle: it takes one hour circa to visit. It's almost unfurnished now, but still evokes the charm and mystery of what was the noble life of Medieval and Renaissance Dukes. You will go around the towers and discover histories and the twists in aristocracy of the past.
Summer Opening: 9.00-13.00/ 15.00-19.00 Monday excluded Winter and Spring Opening: 9.30-17.30 Price: full ticket 6
Schifanoia Museum: literally the name Schifanoia means avoiding the boredom and the Estenses Dukes used it as a place of entertainment and leisure. It was damaged by the 2012 earthquake, hence, only two rooms are open to the public; the rest is under restoration. The Mesi (months) chamber is a huge example of the Renaissance example of culture. It takes half an hour to visit it now, but it is worthwhile and plus, you can contribute to fund the frescos' rescue. The cycle represents a calendar with months, astrology symbol, mythology and urban and convivial scenes. A nice coffee shop is available in the garden. Via Scandiana, 23 - 44121 Ferrara Opens Tuesday to Sunday 9.30-18.00
Vaults passage: It's a street in the medieval historic centre. The peculiarity is the architecture of different types of vaults; once headquarter for merchants shop, warehouses and dwellings. The street once was parallel to the Po River, which had its harbour in Ripagrande Street.
Cathedral: You should spend some time to visit this marvel. The San girogio Martyr Cathedral is an example of gothic and Romanic style in the exterior, while the interior has been reconstructed in baroque. If you are a historian of art - you will admire it all day long; if you are in a hurry, just take a picture with one of the two legendary creatures, called hippogryph.
University Botanic Garden: The University Department of natural Sciences hosts a cute botanic garden and herbarium inside Palazzo Turchi di Bagno and founded in 1771. It is divided in three sections. Furthermore, there are three greenhouses to cultivate exotic plants. You will spot cute turtles as well! Via Ercole I D'este, 32 44121 Ferrara Tel. 39 0532 293111
Marfisa d'Este Palace: This is a building that beloged to Marfisa d'Este, daughter of Francesco D'este, marquise of Massalombarda. It is now a museum-house of Art Antique, in which you can admire frescoes, decorations and furniture of Renaissance in Ferrara. Interesting are the garden with the small fountain and the loggia of the orange trees, which hides a painted "Grotto" of hunting and fishing scenes. Your text goes here
Diamanti Palace: nowadays this building is used as a National Art Gallery, but once was the residence of one of the Estenses' family member. If you don't have time to look at the paintings inside, just stop in front of it to admire the famous faηade. 8500 marble block are completing the external walls, arranged in such a sharp shape that they likely seem to diamonds.
Corso Ercole I d'Este 21, 44121 Ferrara
tel 39 0532 244949