Rome has its mopeds, Venice its boats, and Ferrara (pop. 135,000) has its bicycles. Old folks, young folks, and babies perched precariously on handlebars whirl through Ferrara’s jumble of major thoroughfares and twisting medieval roads. Take a deep breath of fresh air, hop on a bike, and explore the city.

TRANSPORTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION. Trains go to: Bologna (30min. 1-2 per hr. ‚2.80); Padua (lhr. every hr. ‚4); Ravenna (lhr. 1-3 per hr. ‚4); Rome (3-4hr. 7 per day, ‚31); and Venice (2hr. 1-2 per hr. ‚6). ACFT ( 0532 59 94 92) and GGFP buses leave V. Rampari S. Paolo or the train station for Bologna (Hzhr. 15 per day, ‚3.30) and Ferrara’s beaches (lhr. 12 per day, ‚4-5). To get to the center of town, turn left out of the train station, and then veer right on Viale Costituzione. This road becomes Viale Cavour and runs to the Castello Estense (lkm). Or, take bus #2 to Castello or bus #1 or 9 to the post office (every 20min. ‚0.85). The tourist office is in Castello Estense. (0532 20 93 70. Open M-Sa 9am- lpm and 2-6pm, Su 9:30am-lpm and 2-5:30pm.) Rent bikes at Pirani e Bagni, P. le Stazione 2. (‚7 per day. Open daily 6:30am-lpm and 3:30-7pm.) Postal Code: 44100.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND FOOD. Ferrara has plenty of inexpensive and comfortable accommodations. DI Pensione Artisti , V. Vittoria 66, near P. Lampronti, is in the historic center of Ferrara and has a pleasant, attentive staff. ( 0532 7610 38. Singles ‚21; doubles ‚38, with bath ‚55.) Walk down C. Ercole I d’Este from the castello, or take bus #4c from the station to the castello stop to reach the central Ostello della Gioventu Estense (HI) , C. B. Rossetti 24, with simple, clean rooms. (fax 0532 20 42 27. Breakfast ‚1.60. Internet access. Reception 7-10am and 5-ll:30pm. Lockout 10am- 5pm. Curfew 11:30pm. Dorms ‚13.) Hotel de Prati , V. Padiglioni 5, is a lovely three- star hotel. ( 0532 24 19 05; www.hoteldeprati.com. Singles ‚47-70; doubles ‚70-105; suites ‚ 110-140. AmExMCAr). Gorge on local specialties such as triangular meat ravioli served in a broth, or the traditional Ferrarese dessert of luscious pampepato, chocolate-covered almond and fruit cake. Try delicious panini with one of 600 varieties of wine at Osteria Al Brindisi 11 , V.G. degli Adelardi 9b, which has wined and dined the likes of Copernicus and Pope John Paul II since opening in 1435. ( 0532 20 9142. Open Su and Tu-Sa 8:30am-lam.) For picnic supplies, stop by the Mercato Comu- nale on V. Garibaldi (Open daily 8am-lpm.)

SEA SIGHTS AND ENTERTAINMENT. Bike the tranquil, wooded concourse along the city’s well-preserved 9km medieval wall, which begins at the far end of C. Giovecca. The imposing UCastello Estense stands precisely in the center of town. C. della Giovecca lies along the former route of the moat’s feeder canal, separating the medieval section from the part planned by the d’Este’s architect, (a 0532 29 92 33. Open Su and Tu-Sa 9:30am-5pm. ‚7, students ‚6.) From the castello, take C. Martiri della Liberta to P. Cattedrale and the Duomo San Romano, which contains the Museo della Cattedrale. (Duomo open M-Sa 7:30am-noon and 3-6:30pm, Su 7:30am-12:30pm and 4-7:30pm. Museum open Su and Tu-Sa 9am-lpm and 3-6pm. ‚4.20, students ‚2.) From the castello, cross Largo Castello to C. Ercole I d’Este and walk to the corner of C. Rossetti to reach the gorgeous Palazzo Diamanti, built in 1493. Inside, the Pinacoteca Nazionale holds many of the best works of the Ferrarese school. (Open Su 9am-lpm, Tu-W and F-Sa 9am-2pm, Th 9am-7pm. ‚4, students ‚2.) Follow C. Ercole I d’Este behind the castello and go right on C. Porta Mare to find the Palazzo Massari, C. Porta Mare 9, which houses both the Museo d’Arte Moderna e Con- temporanea Filippo de Pisis, and, upstairs, the spectacular Museo Ferrarese deil’OttocentroMuseo Giovanni Boldini. (Both open Su and Tu-Sa 9am-lpm and 3-6pm. Joint ticket ‚6.70, student ‚4.20) Postal Code: 44100.

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