Ferrara – a walk on the walls followed by lunch

Unlike most Italian towns and cities, Ferrara has retained its medieval defensive walls.

It’s possible to do a 9km circular walk around them.

They are a wonderful resource for the townspeople many of whom take their daily exercise on the walls.

I started and ended my walk near the Porta Paola (dating from 1612) as there was a restaurant I wanted to go to nearby, more of which later.

This southern section is probably the most interesting. Heading east you’ll come across some ramparts with a typical “Ace of Spades” design.

A small watchtower watches over the corner near Porta Romana where the walls turn north.

This eastern section is also in good condition. Instead of ramparts there are semi-circular defensive towers at regular intervals.

The best preserved tower is the Torrione San Giovanni (1493-1497), near the busy Corso Porta Mare. I understand it’s now a jazz club (virtual tour here).

It took me a couple of hours to walk all the way around, which gave me a bit of an appetite…

… so I went for lunch at this traditional place just outside the walls near Porta Paola.

I Tri Scalin (Intermediate B+), 50 Via Darsena, www.facebook.com

This is an old school place recommended by the Taste Atlas. The first thing the friendly proprietor did was to help me choose a good wine from his shelves. His recommendation was this Dolcetto d’Alba which was wonderful.

I began with the Paccheri con Ragu Saporito di Castro, big floppy cuffs of pasta in a lamb ragout.

As it was mushroom season, for the second course I went for the Filetto di Manzo con Funghi Porcini, beef tenderloin in a cep sauce and roast potatoes to the side.

I actually came here to try Torta di Tagliatelle (aka Torta Ricciolina), a sweet pastry filled with honey and almonds, but was disappointed to find they only make it around Christmas time! Instead I had some amaretti and brownie for dessert.

An espresso and an Amaro d’Capo finished things off nicely.

A satsifying if not amazing meal of traditional local cuisine served by nice people. I’d certainly go back.

You’ll find the restaurant and information about the walls on my Google map.

Another walk and another lunch coming next!

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