Cities of Emilia-Romagna 2008
Ferrara, Italy

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Ferrara

City of Ferrara in the Po Valley, Castello del'Este. This is the most Disney-esque castle I've seen so far.

Este Castle

Detail of Este Castle

Duomo

The main cathedral (duomo)

Pizzeria

Streetside eating

Duomo

Inside of duomo.

Piazza

Main Piazza of Ferrara on a rainy Saturday afternoon...people strolling anyway.

Main street

Main street. Ferrara is known as a place where everyone rides bikes. Very flat with wide streets because one of Este Dukes likes wide streets.

Main Piazza

Main Piazza, Ferrara

Cell phone

Got to have that cell phone.

Saavonarola

Statue of Savonarola, Bonfire of Vanities

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Savonarola

Savonarola was a charismatic and intense priest born in or near Ferrara. However, his fame is from Florence where his charismatic speeches stirred the people to a revolution against the Medici and the generally sinful excesses of the rich Florentines. At the time, Florence was arguably the richest and most important city on earth; ironically, the Medici were early patrons of Savonarola. Savonarola led a series of "bonfires of the vanities" where people threw "vanities," literally, onto bonfires. Some of the stuff was their own, but boys were sent from door to door to gather stuff together: art, "pagan" books, games, fancy furniture, clothing, etc. Everyone was supposed to dress in black and white. Supposedly, Botticelli, who painted Venus on the half shell, was a follower and threw some of his best work on the bonfires. Assuming that you have seen the Venus on the half shell painting, you know that Botticelli painted nudes. Some of Michelangelo's stuff was also destroyed. Eventually the people got tired of this. Savonarola controlled Florence from 1494 to 1498. Then the fickle people got tired of him. He was excommunicated by the pope, tortured, hanged, and burned, for good measure, in the place where he held the bonfire of the vanities. When you go to Florence you can stand on the spot where he was executed in the Piazza del Signore (while looking at the fake version of Michelangelo's "David"). For some reason, Ferrara has a statue of Savonarola in one of the main squares (pictured above).

Stroll

Ferrara, the Saturday afternooon passigiato (stroll). After calcio (soccer to us), it seems to be the main national sport. In Ferrara, bikes are included.

Geezers

Politics and bikes and geezers

As I said, everyone rides bikes --geezers, kids, moms. This was the day before the election, and I imagine that is what the 'anziani' were talking about.

Bambino

Bambino on bike with madre

(c) Phil Wandschneider 2008
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