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FERRARA & RAVENNA. 24th- 29th September 2023. £925.00

Italy’s Best Kept Secret. Ferrara is a town in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. This Renaissance art city is peppered with colossal palaces matching Florence and Venice in grandeur, but without the tourists. It  has 9200 meters of city walls commissioned by Duke Ercole I d’Este and built between 1493 and 1505 with walking paths; as in Lucca, you can bike and walk around them.  Spend 4 nights in one of Italy’s secret cities and includes a day trip Ravenna.

Ravenna is an art and history lover’s dream, most famous for its extensive mosaics. The city was the capital of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until it collapsed in 476. Today, Ravenna’s eight world heritage sites, its proximity to the “Adriatic Riviera” and the region’s reputation as a top foodie destination.

The history of Ferrara as a city dates back around 1300 years when Ferrara was a Byzantine military castrum (fortified city).

In 1115 Ferrara became a free commune and in 1135 the Cathedral was built.

The Este family ruled Ferrara from 1208 to 1598, constructing many of the monuments we see today. Under the Estes, Ferrara became a center of the arts. Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, and Petrarch, among others, spent time under their patronage.

But the Estes lacked a male heir. So the Pope claimed Ferrara and it became part of the Papal States, beginning a three-decade decline before awakening in the 1900s, seemingly becoming aware of its own glorious past. Now the city is looking pretty good and awaits your visit.

Hotel Accommodation

The Touring is located in central Ferrara, just 50 yards from the Estense Castle. With attentive service, it offers a spa, and air-conditioned rooms with a minibar, Sky TV and free Wi-Fi.   Guests arriving at Hotel Touring are greeted with a welcome homemade pastry. Each morning an extensive continental breakfast is served, including cappuccino, fresh fruit juice, and local cheese. Organic and gluten-free products are also available.

The Touring Hotel’s wellness centre features a panoramic view of the city. Guests can relax in the Turkish bath, or re-energise in the ice-fountain.

You can rent bikes on site for day trips to Ferrara’s sites, including the Botanic Gardens and the Palazzo dei Diamant.

The price includes all transfers, hotel accommodation with breakfast staying in city centre. Also day trip to nearby city of Ravenna