If you read this blog regularly you have known that I am a big fan of the Italian city Ferrara. There are many reasons for that, including my personal story and lucky coincidence. I spent in this town many years. I saw it covered with snow, washed off by heavy rain, burnt with the summer sun and touched by the light spring breeze. This was truly fascinating to watch how this town evolve, react to the weather conditions, celebrate its festivals, anniversaries and feasts, and most of all how, despite these little changes, it lasts.
Before living in Italy I visited this country couple of times. I saw the famous spots, enjoyed the weather and followed the crowds of turists. Basing on these couple of holiday weeks I was giving my opinion on climate, celebrations and architecture. I was quite positive about my first-hand information and shared it gladly with everybody who wanted to listen. Until I moved to Italy. Then, everything has changed.
The most misleading information concerned the weather. Visiting Italy in summer months made me think there is always warm. Unbearably hot. And the architecture seamed to confirm this thought. Yes, it is warm in Italy and there are weeks of incredible heat in Ferrara that is hard to deal with but if you have a look at all four seasons this is only a fraction. What is true about it, I think, is the intensity of the heat: even if it is only couple of weeks the temperature and humidity leaves you breathless.
Not everyone knows that Ferrara is located below the sea level, in a depression, in the middle of large plateau of river Po. It makes the heat really hard to deal with, and this is also true for the locals. Because of its location there are not many winds blowing, so when the warm weather begins it lasts long.
This is one of the reasons why I consider May and September my favorite months. And guess what! It is not possible to join me for a week stay in Ferrara. Yes! This September I’m inviting you to enjoy this marvelous city and a fabulous event called Street Dinner. For more details click here!
I was also convinced that all Italian cities are crowded. This is true for large cities, always filled with a variety of foreign groups of people, eager to see everything. But even in Rome or Milan you can find a quiet square or park to relax. In Ferrara it is even more so. This town is outside the mainstream touristic tracks. Let’s say it’s ‘off the beaten track‘. There are not many organized groups visiting the city and if they do they are mainly Italians. At the same time, however, this is a vibrant town which means that if you go to the main square in the evening, especially during the spring and summer seasons, it is full of the Italians. I simply love the sound made by this crowd: you can actually hear how joy sounds. Also local celebrations gather people and make the town lively. So, crowd not depends solely on the attractiveness of the city. Rather, on the season and time of the day. If you cross Ferrara in July at noon I’m pretty sure you won’t meet anybody.
I am not the only one who is delighted about Ferrara! Here is another blogger who found it just perfect for a holiday! Read Agnieszka’s story here! Only in Polish but if you don’t speak the language it is still worthy to look at her pictures.
I saw Ferrara under snow only 4 times but this is a spectacular view. You get the impression that this is improper. Awkward and bizarre are good words to describe the feeling. All houses, churches, streets and squares are created for heat! Colors of walls, shapes of the roofs, window shutters and lack of fireplaces in the houses are against the white fluff. But some years, and this has changed recently towards cooling the climate rather than warming, the snow comes and made this lovely town like a fairytale like. The biggest surprise for me was to discover that the Italians are afraid of snow and they become very careful when driving and leaving home. Actually, there are some that stay at home until the sun does not melt the snow down.
If you wish to adore Ferrara you need to live for couple of months here. But visiting it at last once in a lifetime is a must.
I think it is true for many places. To get the real feeling you need to live in a place for couple of months. To experience more than one season, at least. My residence in Italy was a life changing experience: I feel privileged that I had an opportunity to watch numerous sunrises and sundowns in this town.
Have you ever thought about visiting Italy? Here is an alternative way on how to visit Italy and get really close to the Italian way of life. I created a project ‘I love Ferrara‘ so you could join me and experience how beautiful and tasty Ferrara is. If you wish to immerse in Italy book your holiday now!