The sound of silence: this is what I heard arriving in Ferrara. Slowly walking down one of the main avenues from the railway station to Piazza Castello, last saturday, I had the clear impression this was a suspended town. And actually, it is, just take a look at the plan, and you will see from one side the Renaissance with its marvellous noble palaces, and from the other side the fortress and the medieval quarter, with its narrow street, quiet similar to venetian Calles or Genoa’s Carruggis.
Let the town take you by the hand and discover the nice secret places, through the signs scattered across the town: marble plaques, statues, signboards, flags will tell you the unconventional histories of Ferrara, the bikes town.
Bikes are everywhere and in silence, they stay as new art works throughout the town, colouring this open air Museum town (do not forget it’s a Unesco Patrimony).
The castle, or fortress, stands at your sight, strong as it was in the golden age, when Este Family held the governement.
Yet even Ferrara raises his voice at times, but she does in its own way, and only at certain times of the year. Carnival is one of them. Beware though, this is not the usual carnival celebrations in which masquerade is a different look at Ferrara evokes a period in history when the Carnival had an exact military function, make the enemy believe what was not true.
And so every year, at least for a day Ferrara plays the Renaissance, finding the Duke d’Este, his court, ladies, knights, minstrels and poets. Carers actually never stays outside observer, but an active, involved the participants, who are masters of the ceremony but also the theater of proximity. You breathe, live, feel, listen to a city for a day, and to its magnificent history. And while everyone is dressing up, here you are living history!