All novels and stories of the Italian-Jewish writer Giorgio Bassani (1916-2000) are set in or around Ferrara, the city he grew up and lived in until 1943. In The Story of Ferrara, his collected work, the reader wanders with him through the streets, the alleys, the dark and oppressive Jewish ghetto, over the city walls and over the Catholic and Jewish cemetery.  For BOEK Magazine, we roamed through the old streets of Ferrara, the former Jewish ghetto, and the Jewish cemetery, following Bassani’s tracks. We saw his characters walk around, such as Bruno Lattès, doctor Fadigati or Geo Josz. The cafe situated across the Castello Estense, which recalled Bassani’s Caffè della Borsa, the cafe where friend and foe strike down for a cup of coffee or alcohol and comment on fellow citizens, rumours and the events of everyday life.

In this report, we unravelled the mystery surrounding the characters in his most famous novel The garden of the family Finzi-Contini (which has been made into a film) and, to our satisfaction, we saw that the large bookshop and the city itself have come to be proud of the author, quite unlike how it used to be.