Mantova

Wonderful city of water: Mantua to see in one day

In the heart of the Po Valley, along the banks of the Mincio river, there is a simply extraordinary city: we are talking about Mantua, which boasts a thriving past and many splendid architectural testimonies of its Renaissance history. Art and nature welcome visitors with their wonders, in a romantic and slightly fairy setting. The city is in fact surrounded by three artificial lakes, and it seems almost to be born directly from the water. There are many surprises to discover, but it would take a real vacation. Here’s what to see in Mantua in one day.

Mantua to discover in one day

A place rich in history, which has lived for centuries under the aegis of powerful lordship of the Gonzagas, thriving in trade, art and architecture: Mantua has kept intact the charm of the past, immersed in jewels of Renaissance origin that attract tourists from every corner of Italy (and beyond). But the first glance is that of the water, which permeates the city and reflects it as in a painting with breathtaking colors. And then you can only start with a boat ride, going to the discovery of Lake Superior with its suggestive lotus flowersof the small lake of Mezzo and of the Inferiore lake, crossed by the San Giorgio bridge.

After admiring the city of Mantua from a somewhat original point of view, it is time to enter its historic center. Among the narrow streets there are real beauties: the first is the Castle of San Giorgio, which opens right in front of the homonymous bridge. Built starting from the end of the 14th century, it is an imposing manor surrounded by four corner towers and an ancient moat. Its large, richly decorated rooms are a masterpiece absolutely to be discovered, custodians of works of art of incalculable value. A few steps away, here is the famous Ducal Palace: it was the oldest palace of the Gonzagas and boasts incredible numbers, including 500 rooms and 7 wonderful gardens. Today it houses a large museum complex, one of the most visited in the whole region.

What to see in Mantua

Mantua is one Renaissance city, and there are many testimonies of a golden age that still today make a fine show of themselves in the historic center. If Palazzo Ducale is one of the most famous monuments, there are many other splendid palaces to visit. Unmissable are undoubtedly the Palazzo della Ragione and its majestic Clock Tower, both welcomed in the frame of the delightful Piazza delle Erbe. This was once the place where the market was held, and over time it has transformed into a lively and surprising environment, characterized by bars and trattorias where you can taste the typical dishes of the city.

A short distance away you can admire the Basilica of Sant’Andrea, designed by the great architect Leon Battista Alberti. Inside there is a very precious relic, of the earth soaked in the blood of Christ. The church also houses the Chapel of San Giovanni Battista, where the remains of the great artist rest Andrea Mantegna. And in this regard, nearby you can visit the Casa del Mantegna, where the painter worked for many years: today it hosts temporary exhibitions.

A last stop before leaving Mantua can only be the splendid Palazzo Te, born as a Renaissance villa commissioned by Federico II Gonzaga, in the first half of the 16th century. It is a masterpiece of Mannerist architecture, which has become seat of the Civic Museum which houses several collections of great historical and artistic interest.


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