Castello Estense di Ferrara
Ferrara as a city dates back around 1300 years when it was a Byzantine military castrum (fortified city). 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 it's own glorious past.
Its city plan, designed by Biagio Rossetti in the XIV century, made it the first modern city in Europe. The main building is the Castello di San Michele (named after the deposition of its first brick on the 29th of September 1385, San Michele day), but it is commonly known as Castello Estense. Built in the center of the city, it is surrounded by a moat fed by the river Po, and it is the only European castle with a moat full of water.

Located on the Interstate A13, between Florence and Venice, Ferrara is the ideal pit stop for trying traditional dishes as cappellacci con la zucca, salama da sugo, pasticcio ferrarese and the local coppia bread . If you are a wine lover, do not miss the Enoteca al Brindisi, which  is known to be the oldest "wine bar" in the world.  

This is Nic's home province in the Emilia Romagna region.

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