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Mantua activities

$126.01 Private & Custom Tours

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.

$126.01 Cultural & Theme Tours

Mantua Gonzaga's Residences Private 2-Hour 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.

$332.21 Cultural & Theme Tours

Villa Farnesina Private Tour

Built in the early sixteenth century, is one of the noblest and most harmonious creations of the Italian Renaissance. It is a masterpiece in which architectural design and pictorial decoration fuse into a single marvellous synthesis. The sober volumetric and spatial layout of the Villa, devised by the architect Baldassarre Peruzzi, is indeed the perfect setting for its rich interior decoration, boasting frescos by great masters such as Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi known as Sodoma, and Peruzzi himself.Before moving into the Farnesina, Agostino Chigi lived in a house in Via dei Banchi with his young wife Margherita Saracini, who died childless in 1508. He then embarked on an affair with the courtesan Imperia, famous for her beauty and culture, who bore him a daughter, Lucrezia. But even before the death of Imperia in 1511 he had begun to court Margherita Gonzaga, the natural daughter of Francesco Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua; he failed to pull this marriage off however, even though he had promised to give up all his business interests so as to appease the prejudices of the Mantuan court. In 1511, on a debt-collecting mission to Venice, he met a young girl of humble origins, Francesca Ordeaschi, and lived with her as her common-law husband until 1519. In that year on the feast of St Augustine, no doubt prompted by a sense his own mortality, he decided to regularise his position with a proper wedding and at the same time dictated his Will.The wedding banquet was a memorable event, but no less sumptuous were the many feasts that Agostino gave, especially in the last years of his life, when he welcomed into his new home the foremost personalities of the age: poets, princes, cardinals, even the pope himself. The chroniclers record for example that in 1518, on the occasion of the christening of the eldest child Lorenzo Leone, gold and silver vessels used for the banquet were flung into the Tiber as a sign of munificence. After its acquisition by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese the Younger, and after the death of his nephew Odoardo who inherited it, the Villa was abandoned, being occasionally lent to important visitors to Rome such as Cardinal Richelieu, Cardinal Frederick of Assia-Darmstadt, Queen Christina of Sweden and various ambassadors of Louis XIV. In 1735 the Villa was bequeathed by Elisabetta Farnese to Carlo IV, King of the Two Sicilies, and became the residence of various Neapolitan ambassadors until Francesco II of Naples, having retired to Rome after his abdication, granted a 99-year lease on the Farnesina to the Spanish ambassador of Naples, Salvador Bermudez de Castro, the duke of Ripalta. Finally the Villa was acquired in 1927 by the State, which used it to house the Italian Academy and in 1944 gave it to the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, housed in the nearby Palazzo Corsini.

$126.01 Walking & Biking Tours

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.

$131.74 Cultural & Theme Tours

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.

$7.46 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

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.