Ferrara’s Renaissance Carnival

Carnevale degli Este – Lucrezia Borgia

Introduction on Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th February
Main events on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd March
This year’s Carnival is dedicated to Lucrezia Borgia one of the most intriguing and important duchesses of Ferrara. The theme for this year is the natural world: plants, trees, flowers and fruits.

Programme

Saturday 23rd February

  • Boat trips around the Castle’s moat
    From 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Archeology Museum
    At 3 p.m.
    Exhibition, theatrical performance and guided tour of the museum.
    Cost: museum entrance only
  • Casa Romei (via Savonarola)
    At 4 p.m. – Baroque trumpet concert
    At 5 – 5.30 p.m. – ‘Lo Sguardo di Lucrezia’ theatrical performance followed
    by a tour of the house and a Renaissance – inspired aperitif.
    Please Book: 339 3200895
    Cost: museum entrance only
  • Children’s Carnival Time at the Castle
    At 4 p.m. Carnival at the Castle for children aged between 5 and 11. A tour of the Castle to discover who Lucrezia Borgia was, followed by a workshop to create Renaissance masks. Please book: 0532 299233 email: castelloestense@comune.fe.it

Sunday 24th February

  • Boat trips around the Castle’s moat.
    From 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Carnival Time at Casa Romei
    Via Savanarola, 30
    At 10.30 a.m. a tour of the house with two short theatrical performances: ‘La Verginella è simile alla Rosa’ and ‘Una singolare festa Carnevale’.
    Cost: Museum entrance only
  • Archeology Museum
    At 10.30 a.m. & 3 p.m.
    Exhibition, theatrical performance and guided tour of the museum.

Saturday 2nd March

  • Renaissance Market
    Piazza Trento Trieste
    From 10 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
  • Boat Trips around the Castle’s Moat
    From 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • A Carnival Lunch in Borgo San Giovanni
    Via del Melo, 105
    A special Renaissance lunch based on traditional Ferrarese cuisine, followed by dancing, music, readings, flame throwers and re-enactments.
    For further information or to book telephone: 342 1612801
    Mini-bus service available for transport to and from the event.
  • ‘Raccontare Ferrara’ – Learning about Ferrara
    At 3 p.m. a guided tour of this Renaissance city.
    For information about the tour contact: www.visitferrara.eu or telephone: 0532 783944
    Please book: 333 1581942
    Meeting place, 15 minutes before the start of the tour, in Piazza Savonarola.
  • Lucrezia Borgia
    At 3.30 p.m. – Leaving from the Castle’s courtyard
    A guided tour to find out more about Lucrezia Borgia.
  • Natural History Museum: ‘Carnevale in Fiore’
    At 3.30 p.m. discover more about plants and flowers which would have decorated the gardens and palaces during the Renaissance period. This will be followed by a Carnival workshop to create a floral mask. Suitable for children aged 5 and above.
    For further information, costs and to book contact: 0532 203381
    Duration: 1h 30
  • Children’s Carnival Time at the Castle – ‘Carnevale in Castello’
    At 4 p.m. Carnival at the Castle for children aged between 5 and 11. A tour of the Castle to discover who Lucrezia Borgia was, followed by a workshop to create Renaissance masks.
    Please book: 0532 299233 email: castelloestense@comune.fe.it
  • ‘Il Castello di Lucrezia’ – Lucrezia’s Castle
    At 4 p.m. a guided tour of the Castle dedicated to Lucrezia Borgia, followed by an aperitif in the Castle’s café.
    Please book: 0532 299233 email: castelloestense@comune.fe.it

  • Piazza Trento Trieste – ‘Il Serraglio
    At 4 p.m. Renaissance street entertainment with games, dueling and fencing.
    At 4.30 p.m. parades around the streets of the city centre.
    The bells of the cathedral will mark the arrival of Lucrezia Borgia and the court parade at 4.45 p.m. in Piazza Municipale
  • Piazza Municipale
    5 p.m. ‘La Grande giostre in onore della Duchessa’ – knights compete to win the Duchess’s prize.
    5.15 p.m. ‘Una Mascherata mitologica’ theatrical performance
  • Casa Romei
    Via Savonarola, 30
    At 6 p.m. Renaissance concert – ‘Bizzarrie di Carnevale’
    Admission: Museum entrance ticket only
  • Carnival Dinner at Rione San Benedetto ‘Alla Tavola di Sigismondo’
    Corso Biagio Rossetti, 5
    At 8.30 p.m. a special dinner with traditional dishes from the Renaissance period.
    Please book: 348 5160626
  • Carnival Dinner in Borgo San Giovanni
    Via del Melo, 105
    At 8.30 p.m. a special Renaissance dinner based on traditional Ferrarese cuisine, followed by dancing, music, poetry, flame throwers and re-enactments.
    For further information or to book telephone: 342 1612801
    Mini-bus service available for transport to and from the event.
  • Sala Estense: ‘Asinaria’ theatrical performance (comedy)
    Piazza Municipale, at 9 p.m.
    Admission: Free. Donations welcomed

Sunday 3rd March

  • Renaissance Market
    Piazza Trento Trieste
    10 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
  • Boat Trips around the Castle’s Moat
    From 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Archeology Museum
    At 10.30 a.m. a conference about Lucrezia: ‘Lucrezia, Divina epifania classica’ and a guided tour of the museum.
    Admission: Free
  • Casa Romei
    At 11 a.m. a conference about medicinal plants, botanists and doctors in Ferrara during the Renaissance time. This will be followed by wine tasting.
    Admission: Free
  • Lucrezia Borgia
    At 11 a.m. – Leaving from the Castle’s courtyard
    A guided tour to find out more about Lucrezia Borgia.
  • ‘Il Castelllo di Lucrezia’ – Lucrezia’s Castle
    At 11.30 a.m. a guided tour of the Castle dedicated to Lucrezia Borgia, followed by an aperitif in the Castle’s café.
    Please book: 0532 299233 email: castelloestense@comune.fe.it+
  • Carnival Lunch in Borgo San Giovanni
    Via del Melo, 105
    At 12.30 a special Renaissance lunch based on traditional Ferrarese cuisine, followed by dancing, music, poetry, flame throwers and re-enactments.
    For further information or to book, telephone: 342 1612801
    Mini-bus service available for transport to and from the event.
  • Archeology Museum – ‘Io a Carnevale mi trasformo in…”
    At 3.30 p.m. a children’s tour of the museum and craft workshop.
    Free event.
  • Dueling Re-enactments
    At 3.30 p.m. in Piazza Trento Trieste and Martiri della Libertà.
  • Palazzina Marfisa : Lucrezia’s Secrets
    At 4 p.m. a workshop and guided tour in costume. Suitable for children aged between 5 and 12, accompanied by an adult.
    For further information about costs and to book telephone: 328 4909350 or email ferrara@associazioneartena.it
  • Piazza Castello
    At 4 p.m. Lucrezia Borgia and her court will parade the streets and bring the Carnival to a close in Piazza Municiaple.
  • Piazza Municipale
    At 4.45 p.m. Ferrara’s Carnival ends with an exciting show in Piazza municipal.

Other Carnivals

Comacchio’s Carnival

Carnival Boat Parade
24th February & 3rd March
The boat parade starts from the “Trepponti” bridges at 2 p.m. and travels around the canals of the town. There will be street performers, music, dancing and all sorts of carnival activities around the historical city centre, as well as, Carnival cakes and sweets.
In case of bad weather the Carnival will be postponed to the following Sunday. This is the general rule for all Carnivals

Cento’s Carnival

10th, 17th, 24th February & 3rd – 10th March
2 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.
This is an exciting Carnival and one of the most important in Italy and in Europe. Its impressive floats move slowly around the main streets of city and prizes and sweets are thrown to the crowds below. There is music and dancing, colourful and imaginative costumes and displays. On the last Sunday of the Carnival the winning float is announced in the main piazza and there is a spectacular firework display to bring celebrations to an end.
You need tickets for this event which cost 15 euro per person. Children under 1m20 enter for free. These can be bought in advance on-line or directly at the various entrances to the Carnival.