The historic heart of Ferrara is encircled by nine kilometres of brick walls that are lined with trees and surrounded by lush gardens. You can walk or cycle along the entire length of the fortification, which serves as a vast park looping around the city. Most of Ferrara’s important sights lie within these walls, including the 14h-century Estense Castle, accentuated by a moat and four imposing towers. From the castle, you can walk a few steps to the Ferrara Cathedral, whose eclectic architecture offers a blend of Renaissance, Gothic and Romanesque styles. Both the castle and the cathedral boast museums where you can discover some incredible art.
Several of Ferrara’s palazzos (palatial structures) have now been converted into museums, such as the Palazzo dei Diamanti, whose unique facade is studded with over 8,500 diamond-shaped pieces of marble that give it its name. This palace houses two art galleries and hosts rotating exhibitions where works by renowned international and local artists are displayed. Another museum worth your time is the Palazzo Schifanoia that offers wall after wall of beautiful frescoes that were painted in the 15th century.