An Afternoon in Ferrara

posted in: Italy Travel Planning | 7

May 6

The strap on my luggage broke, so this morning I went to the ferramenta(hardware store), and bought a nut and bolt ( dado and bullone) and a small screwdriver. It was a typical small store with a shopkeeper who found what I needed. Life is simple sometimes.


Afterwards on my way to the train station, I passed the two towers, or Le Due Torri, and also came across a demonstration, apparently against Berlusconi’s policies. Italians are passionate about everything, and this reminded me of the 60’s when young people were so involved and passionate about their beliefs. Bologna has a lot of students and young people in general, and it was inspiring to see them so involved in a cause.

My plan was to take a day trip to nearby Ferrara, and I caught the train, and four euros and 45 minutes later, I was there. After walking 15 minutes to the center of Ferrara, I found the tourist office and obtained a map. Quite by accident I came across the well-known osteria, Al Brindisi. This is the oldest osteria in the world, dating back to 1435, and has been highly recommended for authentic food from Ferrara. Naturally since I was hungry I decided to have lunch here.


Bologna is known as the gastronomic capital of Italy and I have read that Ferrara has even better food. I wanted to try some regional cuisine here, so I ordered their traditional pasticcio di maccheroni alla Ferrarese, a macaroni pie, and it was delicious!


While waiting for my food, I met a young American student, Kellen, from the University of Bologna. We had a nice conversation, and he gave me a few suggestions on places to check out in Bologna, particularly La Sorbetteria on via Castiglione for the best gelato. I had already heard about this, so it is definitely on my list!


Ferrara was easy to get around on foot, and I found that the streets in both Ferrara and Bologna are easier to navigate than in Rome. They seem to be laid out in a more organized away, and it is not as easy to get lost. Since the shops close in the afternoon till 4pm, I walked around Ferrara and then took the train back to Bologna. Once in Bologna, I saw a poster indicating the transportation strike which would be occurring at 7:30pm, so I was lucky that I had gotten back early enough to avert that potential problem.

7 Responses

  1. Kellen

    Hey there Margie!

    Finally got around to checking out the site, hope you enjoyed your stay in Bologna. As for the GROM commenters, GROM is really good, but it can be found all over Italy – I highly suggest everyone tries the local favorites. (Better yet, why not have both? I’m pretty sure in Italy, everything has zero calories. I read that somewhere.)

  2. Bonnie D

    You can eat all the Grom you want. You are walking so much you can’t put on any weight. I will bet you that few, besides nurses, can keep up with you. I wore a pedometer for the last five years of my career (we got bonus checks for making 10,000 steps a day) so I know how much I walked. And all the nurses in units and wards made the 10K minimum. It was harder on stand and deliver nurses in the OR and OB units but even they got a few bonus bucks. Are you by any chance keeping track of your personal miles? Maybe you will be one of the ones who literally walk across Italy. In the meantime, I am going to search Tampa for some gelato. It won’t be the same but I will be thinking of you and your adventure.

  3. Donna Musser

    Glad to hear you’ve been more adventurous with the food. As you found, there’s more to Italian cuisine than pasta pomodoro! 🙂

  4. bagnidilucca

    Bologna also has Grom, said to be the best gelato in the world. We had one there the other day and it is excellent.

    • margieinitaly

      I have had gelato at Grom in Siena and also in Cividale and it was wonderful. I undertpstand that NYC has Grom. I wonder if it is just as good.

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