With its pumpkin ravioli and apple relish, spiced-pork risotto and cinnamon-flavoured agnoli (ravioli stuffed with capon, cinnamon and cloves), Mantua has a marvellous culinary tradition dating back to the Renaissance when sweet-and-sour flavours were de rigeur.

Feature: Mantua's Cuisine

In Mantua, pumpkin and pork are the order of the day, unsurprisingly given that for every Mantuan there are at least eight pigs in the province. Frogs-leg pasta, rabbit and duck ragù and soft-stewed donkey in red wine are designed for melancholy Mantuan winters. Bakeries stock wonderful torta di tagliatelle (an unusual blend of crunchy tagliatelle, sugar and almonds) and sbrisolona (a hard biscuit with almonds). And of course, no one can talk about food in Mantua without mentioning mostarda, all kinds of fruit in clear mustard marinade, often seen in shop windows in big colourful glass jars.