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Mantua, a Unesco city of art, what to see?

Mantua is one of the most beautiful Renaissance jewels on the Italian territory. Mantua was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008 together with the art city of Sabbioneta.

Deeply linked to the noble Gonzaga family who made it, from 1328 to 1707, a court-city of great splendor, the city extends like a small peninsula in three artificial ponds created in ancient times to defend the city and obtained from the meanders of the River Mincio: Lake Superior, Lake Mezzo and Lake Inferiore. This peculiarity makes the Lombard town completely unique, which almost seems to arise from the water like a new Venice of the hinterland.

Ducal Palace
Among the first things to see there is certainly, in the north-eastern part of the city, the Palazzo Ducale which, with its 500 rooms, the numerous buildings connected by corridors and galleries, courtyards and gardens, resembles a real city-palace that covers about 35 thousand square meters. Those who love art cannot help but visit, inside, the Stanze del Pisanello, the splendid apartment in Troia, which owes its name to the cycle of frescoes created in the main room and the work of Giulio Romano and his students. and the famous collection of tapestries based on Raphael's cartoons.

Part of the Palazzo Ducale complex is also the Castle of San Giorgio which houses the famous frescoes by Mantegna in the 'Camera degli Sposi', dedicated to Ludovico II Gonzaga and his wife. On piazza Sordello we will find the Palazzo del Capitano, now included among the buildings of the Doge's Palace.

Palazzo della Ragione and Palazzo del Podestà
Passing under the characteristic arcades we will find ourselves in Piazza delle Erbe and shortly thereafter we will have the splendid view of Palazzo della Ragione, which during the Late Middle Ages had functions of public administration and justice and of Palazzo del Podestà, built in 1227, one of the oldest medieval public buildings in the city.

Clock tower
Next to the two palaces we find the fifteenth-century Clock Tower characterized by the hours marked with Roman numerals and other indications such as the zodiac signs, the planetary hours, the days of the Moon and the position of the stars.

Also worth visiting is the Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of San Pietro, which contains elements of different architectural styles such as the Romanesque bell tower, the Gothic right side and the neoclassical and eighteenth-century façade.

Very famous is the Basilica of Sant’Andrea designed by Leon Battista Alberti, which houses works of great value such as those by Mantegna, Correggio, Giulio Romano and his pupils.

Palazzo Te

Among the most beautiful places in Mantua, it is advisable to visit Palazzo Te in the eastern area of ​​the city, surrounded by greenery. The villa, Giulio Romano's masterpiece, was conceived as a place of leisure and social life for Prince Federico II Gonzaga. Among the internal rooms, the Hall of the Giants, that of Cupid and Psyche and that of the Horses deserve particular attention.


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