19 Facts About Ferrara


Ferrara is a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital of the Province of Ferrara.

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Ferrara appears first in a document of the Lombard king Desiderius of 753 AD, when he captured the town from the Exarchate of Ravenna.

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In 988 Ferrara was ceded by the Church to the House of Canossa, but at the death of Matilda of Tuscany in 1115 it became a free commune.

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Ferrara's rule marked the end of the communal period in Ferrara and the beginning of the Este rule, which lasted until 1598.

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Architecture of Ferrara greatly benefited from the genius of Biagio Rossetti, who was requested in 1484 by Ercole I to draft a masterplan for the expansion of the town.

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Ferrara again fought Venice in the Italian Wars after joining the League of Cambrai.

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In recent decades, as part of a general trend in Italy and Europe, Ferrara has come to rely more on tertiary and tourism, while the heavy industry, still present in the town, has been largely phased out.

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The proximity to the largest Italian river has been a constant concern in the history of Ferrara, that has been affected by recurrent, disastrous floods, the latest occurring as recently as 1951.

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The average age of Ferrara residents is 49 compared to the Italian average of 42.

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Ferrara is known as being the oldest city with a population over 100,000, as well the city with lowest birth rate.

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Jewish community of Ferrara is the only one in Emilia Romagna with a continuous presence from the Middle Ages to the present day.

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Ferrara's celebrated book, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, was published in Italian as Giardino dei Finzi-Contini, 1962, by Giulio Einaudi editore s p a It was made into a film by Vittorio de Sica in 1970.

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Ferrara Bible was a 1553 publication of the Ladino version of the Tanakh used by Sephardi Jews.

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Ferrara gave birth to Girolamo Savonarola, the famous medieval Dominican priest and leader of Florence from 1494 until his execution in 1498.

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Ferrara was known for his book burning, destruction of what he considered immoral art, and hostility to the Renaissance.

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Ferrara vehemently preached against the moral corruption of much of the clergy at the time, and his main opponent was Pope Alexander VI.

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Ferrara's masterpiece Fiori musicali is a collection of liturgical organ music first published in 1635.

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Ferrara is the birthplace of Italian film directors Michelangelo Antonioni and Florestano Vancini.

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The Ferrara Buskers Festival is a non-competitive parade of street musicians from all over the world.

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