Our last days and hours in Ferrara continued to be as wonderful as those first days were three months ago. The last 48 hours have been crammed packed with not seeing things we have missed but participating in festivals and the normal flow of this amazing town. We would try our hardest to do it all.
On Sunday morning we began the day with heading on the bikes to Urbani Parco to see some of the last day (a four day event) of the Vulandra festival. People come from all over Europe to fly their kites….in all shapes and forms. We had missed the first three days as we were away…….but Sunday morning was dedicated to families. I cannot tell,you how wonderful it was to sit on a bench and watch hundreds and hundreds of multi generational families spending the day playing and flying kites together. The grandparents helping their grandchildren to get their kites up in the air…..the young parents interacting with their children and other families. One young girl just could not get the hang of needing to hold onto the string…..her Dad would then chase after the string with the kite still in the air and his toddler chasing behind. After a few hours of people watching and buying kites to bring home for Peaks we headed out for our last ride along the Po. This time we decided to try a different route I had discovered on one map. Certainly not as well marked. We found along the way the Ferrara dog pound an ended up half the time on posted private dirt roads. It was such a beautiful and peaceful ride through these farm roads…..the only other person we saw was another person on a bike. The ride along the Po was too short and by this time we knew we had much more to do. The ride from Francolina has become shorter and shorter as we know well all the turns and bends and markers along the way. Lunch at da Pippos and we said our goodbyes to this wonderful family. I began to realize this would be the first of many good byes. Briefly home before returning to watch more of the Vulandra. Shortly after we arrived dark clouds were everywhere and we quickly decide it was time to leave……about half the way home heavens opened up….we found shelter under a portico till the storm ended. We had our first experience riding on the wet and slippery rocks. Also being held this weekend in Ferrara was Ebraico festa…..the celebration for liberation of the Jews from the ghetto. A few historical notes: Ferrara was the home to many Jews in Italy…….many coming from Spain when they were forced to leave……the ghetto was constructed in 1624 and Jews were forced to live there in 1626……they were finally liberated in 1797 but it was not till 1860 when Ferrara became a part of the kingdom of Italy did they see real freedom. Our second apartment on Via Mazzini is within the ghetto. At 1800 we saw there was,to be a jazz concert….we went but it turned out to be a lecture on American Jazz…..of course all in Italian. It was a long almost two hour event!!!! Home for a quick last meal…..With the few things left in the frig I was able to make a pasta meal. Believe it or not at 2200 we went back to the Salon Estence for another jazz concert…….this time the concert was for real. Delightful end to a wonderful day!!!!!
Monday is market stall day….on the bikes to buy two last things in the market…..a ride through town stopping at the ATM……I wanted to bring back some Euros for the next trip…..I know we,will return…..a stop at the cheese shop to bring some,home. After sandwiches at home we sat on my porch for awhile to savor those memories we have gathered over the months. A young Mom with two babies sat near us….the youngest was crawling everywhere as she ate her gelato cone…..not sure how much went in her or on her or the pigeons ate. One last bike ride was next….but where to? We just took off and went here and there……part on the wall and part along the outside….through the medieval streets……through the historic area so we would not forget the art of riding bikes on crowded alleyways. After showering our last visit to Bar 109 to say goodbye to Lucio the owner and our glass of wine as we watched people pass by. Meo came to say goodbye and then we headed to say our final,goodbyes to Bruno. We arrived there 20 minutes late but because he was the one to tell us about “Italian Time” I said when we arrived we had learned the lesson well……I thought we would just say our goodbyes but that was not to be….more wine and apertif’s awaited us. Then onto dinner at da Noemi’s…….we had our first and last dinners in this wonderful place. Maria Christina welcomed us with hugs and kisses and showered us with attention even through every seat was taken and people were waiting outside. A slow walk back home stopping for one last gelato. Along the walk through Piazza Castello we watched ( just for us I am sure) a presentation of dancing and sword fighting……oh, so many memories. I hope the pictures I took of the castles reflection on the moats waters come out…….Faboulous to see. It was a,very slow walk back as I looked in all directions trying to take it all in. Even at midnight the streets were alive with people……the steps in front of the Catterdrale were even fully occupied with people sitting and talking.
It is now departure morning….the bags are packed……I am sure we will owe money this time…….Paul has checked all,the rooms and nothing is left behind…..the trash has been taken to the recycle bins and Paul is taking one last siesta on the couch before talking the bags down the flight of stairs.
It has been an adventure of a lifetime…..so many cherished memories of Ferrara and new friendships made. The tears are interfering so I will end this now….see you all soon. Viva Italia!!!!!