Top Choice Palace in Mantua

Palazzo Ducale

For more than 300 years the enormous Palazzo Ducale was the seat of the Gonzaga – a family of wealthy horse breeders who rose to power in the 14th century to become one of Italy's leading Renaissance families. Their…
Top Choice Palace in Mantua

Palazzo Te

Palazzo Te was where Frederico II Gonzaga escaped for love trysts with his mistress Isabella Boschetti, and it's decorated in playboy style with stunning frescoes, playful motifs and encoded symbols. A Renaissance p…
Top Choice Theatre in Mantua

Teatro Bibiena

If ever a theatre were set to upstage the actors, it's the 18th-century Teatro Bibiena. Dimly lit and festooned with plush velvet, its highly unusual, intimate bell-shaped design sees four storeys of ornate, stucco …
Basilica in Mantua

Basilica di Sant'Andrea

This towering basilica safeguards the golden vessels said to hold earth soaked by the blood of Christ. Longinus, the Roman soldier who speared Christ on the cross, is said to have scooped up the earth and buried it …
Piazza in Mantua

Piazza delle Erbe

Once the location of the town's vegetable market, Piazza delle Erbe is Mantua's most lively piazza. Its 13th-century Palazzo della Ragione, sporting a 15th-century clock tower at its south end which marks the phases…
Piazza in Mantua

Piazza Sordello

Piazza Sordello is the oldest square, and was probably the location of the Etruscan town. The existing layout is thanks to the Gonzagas whose immense living quarters, fronted by the Palazzo Ducale, frame the east si…
Piazza in Mantua

Piazza Broletto

Once home to the city's highest official and adorned with a coat of arms, the Palazzo del Podestà is located in Piazza Broletto. The square also features a white stone shrine dedicated to Virgil, depicting the poet …
Church in Mantua

Rotonda di San Lorenzo

The weather-worn 11th-century Rotonda di San Lorenzo is sunk below the level of the square, its red-brick walls still decorated with the shadowy remains of 12th- and 13th-century frescoes.
Tower in Mantua

Torre della Gabbia

Enter Piazza Sordello from the south and on your left you have the grand house of the Gonzagas' predecessors, the Bonacolsi clan. Hapless prisoners used to be dangled in a cage from the tower, aptly called the Torre…
Palace in Mantua

Palazzo della Ragione

In the Palazzo della Ragione, which runs the length of the square from the Rotonda and was once the seat of secular power in the city, you can see exhibitions of varying interest (usually free).