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Ferrara at the time of Ludovico Ariosto

We discover Ferrara walking in the footsteps of Ludovico Ariosto, thanks to an itinerary that narrates the city’s most hidden treasures.

It touches on those sites so rich in history, but less well known than others, frequented by the poet during his long stay in the city. The palaces where he studied, surrounded by academics and humanists; the intimate and familiar places and the official ones where Ariosto worked when he was at the service of the Estense family in 16th-century Ferrara and, in later years, the places he frequented when he became a court playwright fulfilling his dream, right through to those where he chose to spend the last years of his life, busy writing Orlando Furioso, the epic poem that made him famous.

We begin at Palazzo Schifanoia with the seasons and signs of the zodiac of Salone dei Mesi that so enchanted the poet, and then continue the Monastero del Corpus Domini, the monastery that houses the tomb of Lucrezia Borgia. We continue along the streets where Ariosto lived – 29 Via Giuoco del Pallone and 15 Via del Carbone – visiting Palazzo Paradiso along the way. Now home to the Biblioteca Ariostea, it houses the funeral monument to Ariosto. We reach the imposing Cathedral of Ferrara to see characteristic Via Adelardi that runs alongside it. Here, to this day, stands “Al Brindisi” inn – known at the time as “Hostaria del Chiuchiolino” – frequented since 1435 by historical figures, including Ariosto himself. The imposing Volto del Cavallo portal leads to Piazza Municipale from where we continue as far as Este Castle. From here, we take Corso Ercole I d’Este where we can see the ashlars of beautiful Palazzo dei Diamanti. The itinerary ends with two sites that recall Ariosto, elliptical-shaped Piazza Ariostea, that has a statue dedicated to the poet at its centre, and Casa Ariosto, the house he owned and where he wrote the last version of Orlando Furioso.

You can learn more about Ariosto’s story by downloading the 10-episode podcast, on loquis or using the QR code on the map.


last modified May 04, 2022 01:11
Not to be missed...


Palazzo Schifanoia
Wanted by Borso d’Este “to avoid boredom”, this Building houses the Salone dei Mesi, the cycle of frescoes showing the seasons and the signs of the zodiac that enchanted Ariosto

Monastero del Corpus Domini
The 15th-century monastery houses the tomb of many illustrious figures of the Este family, including Alfonso I and his wife, the renowned Lucrezia Borgia

Via Giuoco del Pallone
This street boasts several houses that once belonged to Ariosto. When he came to Ferrara in 1482, Ludovico and his family moved into number 29

Palazzo Paradiso
Biblioteca Ariostea
The 14th-century rooms of the palace are home to the ashes of Ariosto, housed in a precious marble funeral monument designed by the architect Giovan Battista Aleotti

Via del Carbone
This mediaeval street winds its way around charming vaults and crossroads with other mediaeval streets, like Via Ragno and Via delle Volte – this is the heart of the Jewish Ghetto

Via delle Volte
In the mediaeval centre of the city, its name comes from the numerous suspended walkways and arches dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries

Cattedrale di Ferrara
Built from the 12th century onwards, the beautiful Cathedral dedicated to Saint George Martyr bears the marks of all its historical periods, spanning from the Romanesque to the Gothic era

Piazza Municipale
At the time of Ariosto this was the courtyard of Palazzo Ducale. The entrance to the square is dominated by the Volto del Cavallo, a portal with the statues of Niccolo III and Borso d’Este

Via Guglielmo degli Adelardi
Once known as Via Gorgadello, this charming street is home to “Hostaria del Chiucchiolino”, the inn where Ludovico used to drink, now “Al Brindisi” wine bar

Piazza Ariostea
An unusual elliptical-shaped square with a lowered floor, famous for hosting the Palio races

Casa di Ludovico Ariosto
The Home of the famous poet, who wrote the last version of his epic poem Orlando Furioso here


At the table with Messisbugo

The ceramics loved by the Este

Triumphs and tournaments

Ludovico Ariosto, the poet of the Orlando Furioso

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