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Ferrara is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region in the north of Italy. It is the capital city of the Province of Ferrara. Ferrara is situated on the river Po di Volano, which is a tributary of the main stream of the river Po.
Although Ferrara has about one hundred and thirty thousand inhabitants, it has no highly developed industry. The city still largely benefits from its glorious history. The medieval center is not large, but in the Renaissance era Ferrara  became a large and representative city. It has a unique character, because it is almost entirely built of bricks. The town has wide streets and numerous palaces dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries, when it hosted the court of the House of Este. Thanks to its beauty and cultural importance it has been qualified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The first written mention of Ferrara dates from the middle of the eighth century. The most influential family was undoubtedly the d'Este family, who came to power in Ferrara in the Middle Ages in the middle of the 13th century.
During the reign of the d'Este family in  the Renaissance period, Ferrara grew into a cultural center. The members of this family were significant patrons of art, especially Ercole I and Alfonso I and II, and they welcomed a great number of artists to Ferrara. The city became renowned for music as well as for visual arts. In the music field, Ferrara was able to compete with the traditional musical centers such as Rome, Florence and Milan. Composers such as Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Lodovico Agostini, and later Carlo Gesualdo composed there. Painters, who came to Ferrara to work, formed the so-called School of Ferrara. We can mention for example Andrea Mantegna, Vicino da Ferrara, Giovanni Bellini, Leon Battista Alberti, Pisanello, Piero della Francesca, Battista Dossi, Dosso Dossi, Cosmé Tura, Francesco del Cossa and Titian.
The architecture of Ferrara benefitted from the genius of Biagio Rossetti. In 1484  he was asked by Ercole I to redesign the plan of the city. Thus one of the most beautiful examples of renaissance city planning was formed. In 1570 the city was greatly affected by an earthquake.
Ferrara became a part of the Papal States from 1598 until Italian unification in 1859, when the Kingdom of Italy was formed.

The town center comprises the Cathedral (Duomo), the ancient City Hall (the former residence of the Este family) and the market. Not far from it is the imposing Castello Estense. The whole medieval part of the town is situated in and around this area .
The second, northern part is from the Renaissance period. Its center is formed by the intersection of four main streets. At this junction the beautiful Palazzo dei Diamanti can be found.
The town is surrounded by more than 9 kilometers of ancient walls, mainly built in the 15th and 16th centuries. They are among the best preserved Renaissance walls in Italy.

The Castello Estense is one of the most iconic buildings of the town. It's a brick building surrounded by a moat, with four massive bastions. It was built starting in 1385 and partly restored in 1554.
The most beautiful feature of the Duomo (the cathedral) is its façade full of arches, columns and reliefs. The church was built in 1135 by Guglielmo I of Adelardi (d. 1146), who is buried in it.
Palazzo dei Diamanti is the most beautiful Renaissance palace in the city, which takes its name from the facade decoration - individual graffiti reminiscent of polished diamonds. Today it houses the Gallery of Modern Art, One Museum and the Pinacoteca Nazionale (National Picture Gallery with large collections of the school of Ferrara).
The Casa Romei is the best preserved Renaissance building in Ferrara. After its original owners it was inherited by the nuns of the Corpus Domini order who lived there without making any changes to its original structure. Thanks to this, much of the decoration in the inner rooms has been preserved.
Palazzo Schifanoia was the summer residence of the d'Este family.
While walking through the new (Renaissance) part of the ci.y  it is worth visiting Piazza Ariostea, which is not only a square and a park but also an imitation of a Roman circus.. It is named after Ludovico Ariosto, an Italian poet, who lived and worked in Ferrara at the end of the 15th and early 16th century.