Ferrara (2011 trip)

Saturday, June 18th:
Now that my Italian lessons were over, I had four full days left while staying in Bologna. Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day. I decided to do a day trip to Ferrara. I have stayed in Ferrara twice before in 2001 and 2003. I was excited to return, even if it was just for a day.

I walked to the train station, which took about 20 minutes and took the 8:56 train. It was a short 34 minute ride. When I arrived in Ferrara, I decided to walk to the center. The walk was much longer than I remembered it to be.

I really did not have any set plans for the day. I just wanted to wander around and take photos and maybe tour Castello Estense (the castle) again.


When I arrived in the center, I took some photos and then wandered down Via Cairoli, the street where I stayed at Locanda Borgonuovo during both of my stays. As I looked down the street, I thought I recognized the owners’ son, Filippo. He went into the B&B so I rang the bell. He answered the door and recognized me right away! When I told him that I was staying in Bologna taking Italian lessons, he told me that his girlfriend knows my Italian teacher or knows someone who knows my Italian teacher! What a small world!

Breakfast was just finished being served. I went upstairs to say hello to his mom. She also remembered me and insisted that I stay for coffee and some food. She fed me and fed me. We all talked and talked and talked. I ended up staying there for an hour and a half! When I left, I said I would try to return later in the day to say hello to her husband, since I missed seeing him. I remember him calling me that Hawaii girl when I stayed there.

After saying goodbye, I wandered the streets taking more photos. I love the feeling I get when I am in Ferrara. It is a pedestrian/biking city. Everyone is out and about chatting and shopping. The city always has such a friendly feel to it.


I had a delicious lunch at Leon D’Oro. After lunch, I noticed that there were some books being sold in the Piazza del Municipio. I love this stairway!


I struck up a converstation with one of the booksellers. When I left, I turned back to take a photo. He saw me taking the photo and waved.


I walked back to the Castello Estense and bought a ticket to tour inside. I took tons of photos. This was my second time visiting this castle and my second time climbing the tower, which is a very easy climb. Not too many steps.

I spent three hours inside the Castello Estense! Lots of interesting things to see and great views from the top! I will do posts later on to share some of the photos I took outside of the castle, inside the castle, and my tower climb & views from the top.

After touring the castle, I went inside the Duomo.


I did a double take when I saw Pope John Paul II sitting in that chair. The photo was so realistic!


Before catching the bus back to the train station, I stopped by the B&B again and was in luck. It was so nice to see both of the owners (and Filippo earlier in the day)! They are all so kind and I was flattered that they remembered me since it was so long ago that I stayed there. I was not able to visit very long because I wanted to catch the next bus but I did take a photo.


Back in Bologna…
When I returned to Bologna, I was tired from all of the walking & decided to take the bus back to my apartment. I was so proud of myself knowing just what bus to get on. The bus was really crowded.

Just before the bus was about to leave, some sort of bus official came on board and made an announcement about a detour due to a big demonstration. I did not understand everything that was said. I thought they were saying that it would be a minor detour and that it was a major demonstration (I thought they meant also possibly dangerous).

I should have gotten off the bus and walked but I did not. The bus took off and headed in a direction that did not look promising. I was completely lost and became more and more worried that I would end up very far from my apartment. I got out my map, tried to ask other people on the bus where they thought I should get off, and even tried to call Andrea. No one seemed to know the new route of the bus. Finally, I recognized something, although it was not anywhere near my apartment. I got off and started walking.

Once I finally recognized just where i was and felt confident that I was not too far (the towers were in sight), Andrea called. I assured him that I was fine.

I never found out the specific details of the demonstration but saw a few people walk by dressed up with painted faces.  It was a long day so I made dinner at my apartment. After dinner, I went out to check out Piazza Maggiore.

This seemed to be the end result of the demonstration:


Here’s the pretty night sky in Bologna…


Despite my crazy bus ride in Bologna, I had a wonderful day! I do hope to one day return to Ferrara for another stay in the future. It is such a wonderful city!

Next up – Sunday in Bologna

3 thoughts on “Ferrara (2011 trip)

  1. Hi Girasoli, awesome photos. I think I would’ve done a double take on the Pope’s photo too. :) I briefly stopped in Ferrara on my return from Ravenna to Venice. From the little I saw, I liked. I wish I had more time there. I got detoured once in Berlin and it’s a bit scary. I’m glad it worked out for you. And how cool that the B&B owners remembered you. You must have made quite an impression on them.

    Thanks so much for sharing your photos and experiences in Ferrara.


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