JWU Student Blogs


Our trip to Ferrara took place on the fourth day of our week long excursion. We were staying at Hotel Il Guercino in Bologna. I loved this hotel, they gave us an awesome breakfast and it was decorated in a really unique and cool way.

We left for Ferrara after breakfast. Our tour guide was named Elisa, and she gave us a really nice walking tour of the city. Unfortunately, it was raining and pretty cold throughout the entire day. Ferrara is a really old city, and what I thought was really cool about it is that it is still surrounded by a city wall. People can actually walk around on the city wall, but we did not get the chance to do that.

Our first stop on the tour was Castello Estense, which is surrounded by a type of mote. I thought it was awesome because I have never seen a castle with a mote before. The water is from the Po River, which goes across all of Northern Italy. There was a major earthquake in 2012 that effect much of Northern Italy. Many of the sites we saw throughout the trip had areas that were damaged by this earthquake, and the castle was one of them. In fact, the castle had so much damage that they do not have enough money to finish the repairs to certain parts of it.


Castello Estense

We also went to the area that used to be the Jewish ghetto in Ferrara. There were different areas for different nationalities of Jewish people. I thought the Spanish quarter was very interesting. Elisa told us that you could tell it was the Spanish part because of the iron balconies they had on their buildings, which is an old Spanish style. Ferrara had a large population of Spanish Jewish people because at one point in time the King of Spain had forced all of the Jewish people out of the country.


The Spanish area of the Jewish ghetto

We had lunch at a well known restaurant in Ferrara. Our first course was risotto and tortellini. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was the best risotto and tortellini I have ever had in my life. I still have no idea what was in the risotto, but it was amazing. The tortellini had pumpkin inside, which is my favorite. The second course was beef and potatoes, which was also good. For dessert we had an amazing chocolate mousse. After that though we headed back to Bologna, which is probably good because I think we all went into a food coma.


The amazing risotto and tortellini

If you are ever in Italy Ferrara is definitely worth seeing. I also recommend the other places we went on this excursion which were Bologna, Modena, and my favorite was Parma.