Yesterday I spent one day in Mantua together with my family and I decide to give you some advices for visiting this beautiful city.
Mantua is an enchanting city whose ancient origins dates back to Etruscan Ages. It flourished in the age of the Communes and reached its utmost splendor during the Gonzaga seigniory, lasted for almost 400 years from 1328 to 1707. It gave birth to several figures, such as the poet Virgil, the composer Claudio Monteverdi and the famous driver Tazio Nuvolari. In 2008 Mantua was inscribed on the World Heritage List.
There are lots of things to see such as the beautiful Palazzo Ducale, that is one of the largest buildings in Europe. In fact it is a large complex that counts about 500 rooms, several courtyards and gardens, that is the symbol of the Gonzaga family. Inside of San Giorgio Castle, part of the complex, you can admire the Bride and Groom’s Room (Camera degli Sposi) frescoed by Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna. In front of Palazzo Ducale there is the impressive Palazzo Bonacolsi, characterized by the merlons. In the same square you can admire the Duomo of Mantua, founded in the 11th century.
Another important building related to the Gonzaga family is Palazzo del Te, located in the southern part of the city. It was built in 1525 by architect Giulio Romano as the leisure residence of the Marquis Federico II and his mistress Isabella Boschetti. I strongly suggest you visit the splendid Giants’ Hall frescoed by Giulio Romano himself together with Cupid and Psyche’ Room.
On your way to Palazzo del Te stop at Mantegna’s House, characterized by the inner round courtyard that inspired the artist for the Bride and Groom’s Room. Not far from there there is Palazzo Sebastiano, that was built between 1506 and 1508 as the official residence of Marquis Federico II. Today houses the City Museum where you can admire several artworks.
The I suggest you head to Piazza delle Erbe. It is plenty of things to see. Here you can admire Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo della Ragione, the Clock Tower and the Rotonda di San Lorenzo. This church has a peculiar round shape and is the oldest city’s church. I suggest you enter a take a quick tour, you’ll be fascinated.
Then few steps away from the square there is one of the most important churches of Mantua, the Basilica of Sant’Andrea. It was designed by Florentine artist Leon Battista Alberti and a beautiful cupola by Filippo Juvarra. I suggest you visit the crypt where you can admire the holy relic of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ brought to Mantua by the Roman Centurion Longino. If you are a racers’ lover I suggest you visit the beautiful Museum Tazio Nuvolari, celebrating this great Italian driver.
These are just the main sights, but Mantua is much more. For more information about the city I recommend you visit the official website of the Province of Mantua.