Ginger, salama da sugo, cappelletti pasta and typical cold cuts… Ferrara and its gastronomic tradition has much to offer.
26 Feb 2020
Nestled between medieval walls and Renaissance palaces of irresistible charm, the roots of Ferrara and its cuisine go back to the Este court, where excellence was regarded as one of the most important arts.
That’s why walking around Ferrara is about discovering the city’s taverns, including the world’s oldest!
Al Brindisi: the world’s oldest tavern - Via Adelardi, 11.
A narrow alley next to the cathedral is living history that dates back almost six hundred years... The first time the name Al Brindisi was chronicled was all the way back in 1435. And to think that by then, the inn was already famous… Today, this amazing winery has a Locale Storico d’Italia award and a mention in the Guinness Book of Records.
Originally called “Hostaria del Chiuchiolino” – from the local word “ciuc”, drunk – back then it was reached by boat down a waterway that today is Via degli Adelardi.
Owned by the Pellegrini family, the restaurant is a favoured destination for tourists and many locals.
Nicolaus Copernicus, the famous Polish scientist who studied at the University of Ferrara as he began to develop his revolutionary astronomical theory, once lived above the tavern.
L’antico Giardino - Via Martelli, 28.
A few kilometres from Ferrara we come to the Antico Giardino, an ideal place to rediscover the flavours of Emilian culinary tradition. Mushrooms, meats, cheeses, cured meats, an explosion of traditional flavours revisited in a modern key, all to be enjoyed in a delightful garden.
Creativity is the byword at this famous restaurant that serves up at tradition while keeping one eye on originality and innovation, infused by the rich, strong aroma of truffles and mushrooms.
Quel Fantastico giovedì - Via Castelnuovo, 9.
Quel Fantastico giovedì first opened in 1986. It has since become one of the most renowned and important restaurants not only in Ferrara but in all of Northern Italy, and not just for its stunning collection of contemporary artworks.
Located near Ferrara’s historic theatre in the heart of town, Quel Fantastico giovedì offers a hint of what it must have been like to attend the Este family’s great historic court: the foundations of the palazzo where the restaurant is located date back to that Renaissance period.
Eating al fresco along the picturesque old town street in this Michelin Guide-mentioned establishment adds a romantic touch to the gastronomic experience of “That Fantastic Thursday”.
Trattoria Il Mandolino - Via C. Mayr, 83.
Since 1998, the Trattoria Il Mandolino restaurant has been a favourite Ferrara restaurant, excellent for authentic Emilian products such as handmade egg pasta stuffed with pumpkin or ricotta cheese.
Located in the heart of the medieval quarter, its most striking feature is a huge collection of objects, paintings, photographs and cards left by countless guests – including many famous names – keen to leave their mark of appreciation.
The restaurant’s somewhat rustic atmosphere goes well with the intense flavours of authentic homemade cuisine that revives some forgotten flavours.
Trattoria Da Noemi - Via Ragno, 31.
Trattoria Da Noemi, one of the most popular in the Emilian city, has since 1958 occupied a charming building in the historical centre of Ferrara that dates back to 1400.
The Trattoria Da Noemi earned a mention from the editors of the Osterie d’Italia 2016 guide published by Slow Food Editore, which dedicated the chosen for you column on Emilia-Romagna to its cappelletti and cappellacci in an article listing the taverns to visit to sample the region’s flagship dishes.
Where to stay near Ferrara.
Gruppo UNA UNAWAY Hotel Occhiobello lies a few minutes from the centre of Ferrara yet is close to the highway. This 4-star hotel is located in a strategic area for reaching the city and exploring the surroundings. Thanks to its fitness areas and a lovely garden, the property offers excellent opportunities to relax after a nice big Emilian lunch.