Palazzo Schifanoia (Palazzo della Gioia) - World Heritage Site

Palazzo Schifanoia (Palazzo della Gioia) - World Heritage Site, Ferrara: Address, Phone Number, Palazzo Schifanoia (Palazzo della Gioia) - World Heritage Site Reviews: 4/5

Palazzo Schifanoia (Palazzo della Gioia) - World Heritage Site

Palazzo Schifanoia (Palazzo della Gioia) - World Heritage Site
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Temporarily closed for restoration
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Alessandro Bottoni
3 contributions
Aug 2014 • Family
DISCLAIMER: I'm from Ferrara and I had to study Palazzo Schifanoia and its "hall of the months" ("Salone dei mesi") for a university exam in the mid eighties so I'm disgustingly partisan in this review ;-) You can easily find a quite good description of Palazzo Schifanoia at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_Schifanoia) so I will not waste any word trying to describe it.

The single notable reason to visit Palazzo Schifanoia is a large hall called "Salone dei Mesi" ("Hall of the months"). This hall was painted "a fresco" by the best painters of the time (Cosmè Tura, Francesco del Cossa, Ercole de' Roberti, etc.) and was designed to be a "magical device" intended to convey magical power from an astrological dimension and concentrate it on the head of the Duke Borso d'Este. Each and every image is intended to evoke a specific astrological "spirit" and convey its power to the Duke. Have a look at the hall here: http://www.artecultura.fe.it/378/il-salone-dei-mesi . Google Street view here: http://bit.ly/1iokNqM .

So, if you like Dan Brown's books, that mixes history of arts, religion, exoterism and magic, most likley you will find this palace and its paintings fascinating. Be aware that Palazzo Schifanoia is a small palace and its main (or only) attraction is the Salone dei Mesi. You will find very little else here. Moreover, you will need some book or article to understand the paintings. I studied them on "La tirannia degli astri: Gli affreschi astrologici di Palazzo Schifanoia" by Marco Bertozzi (Bertozzi was my Renaissance history professor at that time) but I do not know of any english book on this topic, unfortunately. The only one english article I was able to find is on Frieze: http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/picture-piece-frescoes-in-the-palazzo-schifanoia-ferrara/ .

Beware also of possible closures: Ferrara was hit by an earthquake in 2012 and some restoration is still going on. Many attractions can be closed for maintenance, included this one. Get some info beforehand from APT ("Azienda Promozione Turistica", that is: the tourist's office).
Written August 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Arnell A
West Chicago, IL38 contributions
Apr 2015 • Friends
This is a key place our esoteric art history group visits due to the symbolic works found from the Renaissance era. This 14th century summer Palace built for the royal Este family of Ferrara has been through much change and turmoil over its tumultuously long history but still has secrets to reveal. The Este royal family of Ferrara was instrumental in popularizing Astrology & Tarot during the Renaissance. This palace houses many unusual works including a unique collection of frescos called the Hall of Months which show layers of symbolic meaning related to astrology, mythology and daily life during this period. Created either by or inspired by Francesco del Cossa and Cosmè Tura, and executed 1469–1470, they remain a unique treasure of this important art era. Fascinating to some of us… (while others would probably prefer the drama and opulence of the grand castle up the road which has a mote, dungeons and everything one might imagine). We plan to return on out next trip and recommend this quaint palace art museum it if you're into mysterious, symbolic and iconic medieval art.
Written January 9, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Viridiana2012
Bologna, Italy715 contributions
Nov 2014 • Friends
The frescos in this palace (the room of the months) are a must see. they are a pleasure to watch and you feel sad for the ones who have been lost forever. Nowadays the palace is only partially open (because of the eartquake of a few years ago) but I think it is worth going there also because the walk from the central square to the palace is extremely pleasant and you have a chance to appreciate the beauty of the city outside the main attractions (the palace, the cathedral and palazzo diamanti)
Written November 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

lapis-philosophorum
Polesella, Italy230 contributions
The Months frescoes in Palazzo Schifanoia are simply amazing!
There's also a nice informal eatery in the back garden of the palace, great in summer.

The Church of Santa Maria in Vado is round the corner, absolutely worth visiting. Check opening times. Some churches in Ferrara shut at lunch time. Including the Duomo.
Written October 22, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

211Peter
Stockholm, Sverige27 contributions
Dec 2015 • Couples
Yes folks - there are two frescoed rooms to be seen. And in dilapidated state. I'm sure that they are both fantastic and important, but if you're not a crumbling fresco afficionado, your time is better spent having a drink.
Written January 3, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TheHatters2011
Stockport, UK57 contributions
Sep 2015 • Couples
We were inspired to visit after coincidentally reading 'How to be both' by Ali Smith during a holiday in the Veneto. The palazzo is tucked away in Ferrara so you do need to search it out, although there is lots of street parking within a few minutes walk. The rating is really for the extraordinary frescoes rather than the welcome at reception, which was pleasant but completely uninformative. We paid E3 to get in, which compares very well with lots of other admission prices. It is only two rooms, and was well worth it for us, but it does rather depend on your interest in what is there. We received a photocopied sheet in English, but you might be interested in asking for and buying the Italian colour guide which seems to be tucked away under the counter, if you want a keepsake with decent photos in it. Don't expect it to be offered to you or for it to be on show - you seem to be expected to know what to ask for.

Make sure you take a look at the statue in the lobby before you go upstairs - you'll see the face again in the frescoes upstairs. The frescoes themselves are stunning, even though less than half have survived. The density of the blue pigment and the detail is just beautiful. and the individual characters in the groups of hunting men, women and townspeople add a feeling that we are looking at real people from hundreds of years ago. Also, ( and we might have missed this, had we not read the Smith book) the anonymous eyes peering above the heads of other folk, were intriguing.

We wondered about having a drink in the cafe in the grounds, but there was loud music blaring out so we gave that a miss.
Written October 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

OxfordCorben
Oxford244 contributions
Apr 2015 • Couples
You must read Ali Smith's brilliant novel How To Be Both first and then you will really appreciate this place. It's centred on the frescoes here with a mixture of the painter's voice and a modern family visiting. The book has been shortlisted for all the prizes and won the Costa. It makes for a magical visit - especially with the peaceful garden and lovely little restaurant.
Written April 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AnnArborMHT
Genoa, Italy1,639 contributions
Mar 2013 • Solo
There is no information as to when this will open again at the site, but it's so permanently closed that our map indicated that it was closed! I asked our hotel receptionist and she indicated that they have just started on repairs from the earthquake. The hope is to open it by summer, but no information is available.
Written March 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

luciafamily
ancona256 contributions
Jan 2012 • Couples
This palace is a bit out of the main route, being a 'delizia' in the Renaissance period, that is to say a palace built outside the town in which aristocrats would meet to spend joyful time, dancing, listening to musicians, playing in the gardens outside.
Nowadays, the gardens are gone, but the palace still contains traces of this wonderful past. In fact, it contains the most outstanding cycle of frescos dating back to the XV century, especially in the so called 'hall of the months', in which two large walls are covered with stunning scenes of the period. On the ground floor, you will find a small but very interesting museum, with precious objects such as music books and the duke's Bible covered with precious stones. Really worth a visit.
Written February 9, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Andrew D
Milan, Italy156 contributions
Aug 2021 • Solo
Some interesting frescoes and quiet gardens a little way out of the city centre.
Staff are a little over enthusiastic about the use of the alcoholic hand gel and I washed my hands three times during a 20 minute visit, during which I touched nothing.
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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