Welcome to Mantua
As serene as the three lakes it sits beside, Mantua (Mantova) is home to sumptuous ducal palaces and a string of atmospheric, cobbled squares. Settled by the Etruscans in the 10th century, it has long been prosperous, the Latin poet Virgil was born just outside the modern town in 70 BC, Shakespeare's Romeo heard of Juliet's death here and Verdi set his tragic, 19th-century opera, Rigoletto, in its melancholy... Read More
Top experiences in Mantua
Mantua Old City Centre Walking Tour
You are going to discover the fascinating city-centre of Mantua, starting from the courtyards and gardens of the the Ducal Residence of the Gonzaga Lords, the magnificent Palazzo Ducale and the Cathedral overlooking the cobbled Piazza Sordello. Going further with our stroll, we’ll encounter the medieval squares of the Communal era, such as Piazza Broletto and Piazza delle Erbe, with picturesque crenellated Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo della Ragione, then entering the intimate palatine church of Matilda of Canossa, named Rotonda of S. Lorenzo close to Piazza Mantegna, with the solemn and imposing Basilica of St. Andrew. The Basilica is an absolute masterwork, designed by famous architect Leon Battista Alberti. The guided stroll will then reach the charming ancient canal called the “Rio” passing through the Goldmiths Street and coming back to Mantegna’s Square, in the very heart of the old city, full of animated cafés and elegant shops.
Mantua City Centre Walking Tour
Mantua is a little breathtaking gem; little known or barely remembered before, loved afterwards. The beauty of Mantua, however, is not only in its magnificent buildings but also in the beautiful squares and the charming alleys, lined with arcades and pretty houses. Mantua is small but spectacular and surrounded by beautiful natural environment where art, nature, cultural heritage, great food and overall good living aim for making life sweeter.Start your city centre visit in Piazza Sordello. Close to Piazza Sordello is Piazza Broletto, where the magnificent Palazzo del Podestà stands between the Arengario Arch and the civic tower, almost all buildings around the square were built in 13th century when Mantua was a commune, a free city. Continue the tour and visit Piazza Erbe in the heart of Mantua. Here Matilde of Canossa, according to the legend, ordered the building of the 11th century Romanesque church of San Lorenzo. On three sides the square is lined with porticoes and shops and dominated by the imposing Basilica of Sant’Andrea and the Palazzo della Ragione. One of the most important monuments in Mantua is the great Basilica of Sant’Andrea designed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1472. The first chapel to the left is the funeral chapel where Mantegna was buried when he died in 1506. The tour ends in Piazza delle Erbe close to Saint Andrew's Basilica.
Half-day Guided tour of Mantua City Centre and Ducal Palace
Mantua is surrounded by a beautiful environment, in which water and earth are unexpectedly interwoven. Settled by the Etruscans the city enjoyed a position of status in the early modern world. 1198 the city optimized the Mincio river, creating the so-called 'four lakes'.From the Middle Ages Mantua was ruled by the art-loving Gonzaga dynasty, one of Italy's most important patrons of Renaissance art. The Gonzagas long cultivated a court which included some of the most illustrious artists and intellectuals of the 15th and 16th century like Pisanello, Mantegna, Correggio, Giulio Romano, Rubens and Monteverdi. It is impossible to go to any of the world's great public galleries and museums without finding a picture, a jewel or a precious object that once formed part of the Gonzaga collection in Mantua, a collection completely dispersed in 1630 when Mantua was seized by the Habsburg family. Discover the Ducal Palace and the rooms, still painted with frescos, where these treasures were displayed and kept. The tour starts close to one of the small lakes of Mantua in the city centre and it goes through the main city squares, Piazza Sordello, Piazza Broletto, Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza Mantegna surrounded by beautiful medieval buildings and churches like the romanesque round church of Saint Lawrence and the great Sant'Andrea Basilica planned by L.B.Alberti. The tour continues with the visit of the Gonsagas' ducal palace and the famous camera degli Sposi (bridal chamber) painted by Mantegna in Saint George castle.
The Parmigiano Reggiano - Parmesan Cheese Museum
The museum is located just outside the city of Parma. Parmigiano-Reggiano (also known as Parmesan cheese) is a typical product of Made in Italy. It is a hard granular cheese with a long and natural maturation. It’s a highly concentrated cheese and contains only 30% water and 70% nutrients. Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of the provinces of Mantua and Bologna, on the plains, hills and mountains enclosed between the rivers Po and Reno. The material displayed at the museum was collected from all 5 provinces where Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced. The objects on display can be placed in a time frame between the second half of the XIX century and the first half of the XX century. All objects necessary for the transformation of milk are present in the oldest part of the building, whereas in the newer part of the building are those elements of the production process which do not involve transformation. Here we can find the maturing process, marketing and sales, as well as information about use of the cheese in gastronomy and its history.Do not miss the opportunity to learn about this famous Italian cheese. The ticket includes cheese tasting.Next to the cheese plants, in more recent buildings you can find the Reception, a café and the Museum Shop where it is possible to buy Parmigiano-Reggiano, the tasting kit and publications, posters, cards and themed kitchen objects.
Traditional Home Cooking Experience in Mantua
Meet your instructor at the predetermined location or get picked up from your central Mantua accommodations. In a typical court built in the 1300's, enter an old wine cellar that retains the charm of a time. Taste the local cuisine in a warm, cozy and homely environment , cooked and prepared with the hosts who are passionate about local culinary traditions. Sitting around a large table you can spend a pleasant evening with friends learning to prepare risotto, ravioli, polenta, and more. While the menu can change, you will still enjoy cooking a traditional recipe handed down through the generations. At the end of your lesson, enjoy the meal, then return to your hotel or leave using independently selected transportation. Sample Menu:Antipasto: Polenta e "gras pisa", salami, and cheeseMain Course: Risotto alla mantovana with pork ribs or Seasonal vegetables with fishDessert: Sbrisolona con zabaione cakeBeverages: Water and local Lambrusco Mantovano red wine
Gonzaga's Residences Private Walking Tour
Mantova Palazzo Ducale Walking Tour (2 hours)The Ducal Palace was the official and most significant residence of the Gonzaga Lords during their long rule. The guided tour of the present National Museum of Palazzo Ducale offers the visit of magnificent rooms, complex structures connected by corridors and galleries, squares, courtyards and several gardens. With more than 500 rooms it’s among the most extensive aristocratic palaces in Europe. It houses masterpieces of the 15th and 16th centuries such as Mantegna’s Bridal Chamber in the Castel of San Giorgio, the Hall of King Arthur’s Knights by Pisanello, the Isabella d’Este Apartment with its precious cabinetry works in the Old Court, Raphael’s complete cycle of woven Flemish tapestries, the Hall of Rivers close to a rare hanging garden, and the amazing Hall of Mirrors.Mantua Palazzo Te Walking Tour (2 hours) The Palazzo Te visit is dedicated to duke Federico Renaissance summer villa, a master-work designed and decorated by architect Giulio Romano, who was Raphael’s most talented pupil. During our guided tour we’ll understand how much this residence is an embodiment of Gonzaga's desire for sensuality and struggle for power. The rooms are rife with frescos narrating mythological stories of passion, love, showing naked gods and goddesses, just in the licentious Chamber of Psyche and Cupid, consecrated to womanizer Federico Gonzaga and his beloved mistress Isabella Boschetti. We’ll enter the outstanding Hall of the Horses, used as official reception hall and the impressive Room of the Giants, celebrating the emperor’s supremacy. Now we'll be captured by the theatrical illusionist scene all around us with the defeated Titans striking by Jupiter's fury.