Why This May Be the Most Festive Italian Town for the Holidays

| Thu, 12/16/2021 - 06:26

The Renaissance and medieval heart of Ferrara, a Unesco-inscribed town in Emilia-Romagna, comes alive in December with shows, light performances, Christmas villages and Christmas markets, making it an ideal destination to visit with family during this time of the year.   

Cheerful Christmas lights envelop the streets of the city center, decorated with more than 100 km of installations and light strips, taking on a different look for each street and square. Three large Christmas trees have been set up in three different parts of the city (namely Piazza Cattedrale, the main square where the Duomo is located; Piazza XXIV Maggio; and the space between Via San Romano and Piazza del Travaglio; all within walking distance of one another. 

Dancing stilts, superhero musicians and magical violins will liven up the streets as well. 

The Estense Castle, a Ferrara landmark, and Piazza del Castello in front of it, will be hosting games, entertainment shows, workshops and themed dinners on the weekends leading to Christmas Day. On December 18, Piazza Castello will host ‘The big violinist’ event, when a ‘dama,’ a grand, scenographic lady in a large illuminated skirt, will play the most famous Italian and international Christmas songs with the violin from five meters high.

The Coletta Park has been turned into a ‘Winter Park,’ an amusement park with 14 rides, shows and lights, and even a ski slope for children with ski instructors from Trentino’s Val di Sole. A shuttle will take visitors to the park for this event scheduled to run until 9 January 2022. 

A Christmas market has been set up right behind the Duomo. It features crafts, art, photographs and illustrations, leather pieces, jewelry, clothing, ceramics, cosmetics, Italian and local delicacies and Christmas sweets. On until January 9, 2022.

To top it all off is the spectacular fireworks show over the Estense Castle that is organized every year on New Year’s Eve. Not to miss! 

Those staying in Ferrara until December 26 can take advantage of a promotion that offers a free guided tour of the city either on Saturday at 3.30pm or on Sunday at 10.30am for those who book a stay in participating hotels and B&Bs

This is the perfect chance to discover the lovely Ferrara. Ferrara was in the Renaissance one of the major cultural centers in Europe, ruled by the powerful Este, who welcomed to their court some of the leading artists and intellectuals of the time, including Piero della Francesca, Titian, Leon Battista Alberti, Ariosto and Michelangelo. The intense cultural activity is reflected in the palaces, churches and works of art that grace this city 45 minutes north-east of Bologna. Here’s what to see in Ferrara in a day.  

More info on Christmas in Ferrara is available here.