what to see
With over 500 rooms, including the famous Pisanello Room (dedicated to Antonio di Puccio Pisano, known as Pisanello, born in Pisa in 1395), featuring frescoes inspired by the stories of the Knights of the Round Table. Other notable areas include the Tapestry Apartment, the Hall of Mirrors, the Hall of Rivers, the Garden of Simples, and the Bridal Chamber frescoed by Mantegna between 1465 and 1474. WEBSITE
Built in the second half of the 15th century by the astrologer Bartolomeo Manfredi, known as Bartolomeo dell’Orologio. Climbing to the top of the tower, at 32 meters high, provides a magnificent panorama of the city and the surrounding lakes. WEBSITE
Rotonda di San Lorenzo
Located in Piazza delle Erbe, this medieval church is the oldest in the city. Built by the will of Countess Matilde di Canossa, it is an exact reproduction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
Basilica di Sant’Andrea
The largest church in Mantova, designed by Leon Battista Alberti, housing works by Mantegna, Correggio, Romano, Fetti, and Campi.
The most famous work of architect Giulio Romano, built in the 16th century by order of Marquis Federico II Gonzaga. Inside, it preserves extraordinary, unmissable, and exciting frescoes in the Hall of the Giants. WEBSITE
Galleria degli Antichi
Known as the “Grand Corridor,” this 97-meter-long gallery in Sabbioneta was built between 1584 and 1586 to house the duke’s collections. After the Uffizi in Florence, it is the longest art gallery in Italy.
Built between 1577 and 1588 as the private residence of Duke Vespasiano Gonzaga, it has numerous beautifully frescoed rooms on the noble floor and, on the first floor, the Hall of Mirrors, where the Camerino delle Grazie opens onto a splendid Italian garden.
Designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, built to host performances and concerts reserved for the court of Vespasiano. Due to its innovative features, it is considered one of the first Renaissance theatres in modern Europe.
What to do
Take a boat trip to admire the charm of the city from the perspective of the three lakes fed by the Mincio River – Lago Superiore, Lago di Mezzo, and Lago Inferiore. A river cruise (Duration: 2 hours, reservations directly on the riverbank) offers a splendid view of the imposing buildings of the historic centre. WEBSITE
Walk along the Gonzaga Lakeside
From Belfiore to Porto Catena, especially in the stretch from the San Giorgio bridge leading to Porto Catena, alongside one of the most beautiful profiles in Italy with the Castle of San Giorgio and the courtyard of the Cavallerizza.
Where to stay
In Mantova, there’s a beautiful frescoed, two-roomed apartment a short distance from the Duomo. The spacious accommodation is situated within a 17th century, historical palazzo with a minimal, design approach to interiors – all the while preserving the detailed hand-painted walls, rustic wooden doors and antique fireplace. Home cooks will love the fully equipped kitchen and there’s Wi-Fi installed for those who may need to work from home. Finally, there’s private parking for those with a car. WEBSITE
Where to eat
Antica Osteria Ai Ranari
A traditional trattoria with a welcoming atmosphere and a centuries-old history that has maintained constant quality over time, becoming one of the most reliable addresses in the city. WEBSITE
Approximately 40 km from Mantua, in Canneto sull’Oglio, the restaurant ‘Dal Pescatore’ has held three Michelin stars for fifteen years. Here, chef Nadia Santini elevates the cuisine of the Bassa Padana to excellence. WEBSITE