Here’s a city you probably never gave much thought to, but it happens to have a wealthier history than many of its better-known neighbors, and the quality of life in the hometown of Lamborghini sports cars is second to none. Bicycle paths intertwine through the city center, past a beautiful cathedral and moated castle, and onward to the banks of the Po.

Ferrara Photo Gallery

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Ferrara: Luglio 2009When I eventually flopped onto the deck, escaping the stifling, sweltering, steaming tank, the tropical night into which I emerged made me feel as if I had walked into a freezer. I almost crawled down the deck to the midships block and heaved myself up the gangway and into the accommodation, where I ate a handful of salt tablets, drank a litre of water, and then descended into the centre-castle to peel off my boiler suit and scrub myself with grubby kerosene. Later, as I sat on the floor of the shower under tepid water, accompanied by three cans of cold Tiger beer, it was at that time I knew – I knew – that it could never get any worse. From that point on, life became easier because I knew I could cope: we all knew we could cope. We could cope with whatever we were asked to do.

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