One of Lombardy’s finest cities. Located on the bank of the River Mincio, it’s surrounded by three lakes: Lago Superiore, Lago di Mezzo and Lago Inferiore. Often referred to in English as Mantua.
- Our guide will meet you at your hotel in Milan, Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Venice or Bologna.
- Visit to Mantua and Sabbioneta.
- Stop for lunch
- Return to hotel
The attraction of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mantova and Sabbioneta, lies in its Renaissance cityscape. The Villas, parks, and villages constructed here, reflect this era’s ideals of urban, architectural and artistic harmony. Located in the Lower Po plain, Mantova is surrounded by water, giving it a magical floating appearance. Its history is deeply entwined with the noble Gonzaga family who, during their reign 1328 to 1707, made the city into a Court of grand splendour. We begin our journey in the main square Piazza Sordello where we find the St Peter’s Cathedral and the Palazzo del Capitano. Also here is the largest residence in Italy after the Vatican, Palazzo Ducale. For 400 years this was the home of the Gonzaga family, a sort of city-palace with over 500 rooms and numerous buildings connected by corridors, galleries, courtyards and gardens. Walking beneath the porticoes, we reach Piazza delle Erbe, which opens onto a fantastic view of Palazzo della Ragione and Palazzo del Podestà, some of the oldest public buildings in the city. Next to these Palazzi is the 14th-Century Clock Tower, characterized by its Roman numeral hours and by indications of zodiac signs, solar time, lunar phases, and the positions of the stars.
Finally, back to St Peter’s, a mix of architectural styles: from the Romanesque bell tower to the neoclassical façade. The Basilica of St. Andrew designed by Leon Battista Alberti houses, among other things, the tomb of Andrea Mantenga. We continue our walk to Palazzo Te, the magnificent villa is a masterpiece conceived by Giulio Romano as a place for Prince Frederick II Gonzaga and his high-society set to live out that famous phrase il dolce far niente, or the sweetness of doing nothing. Of all the Palace’s rooms, be sure to pay attention to the Room of the Giants, the Room of Cupid and Psyche, and the Sala dei Cavalli or Horses Salon. We return to Piazza delle Erbe for lunch and then continue the afternoon visiting the nearby Sabbioneta, the city created and built according to the dictates of Vespasiano Gonzaga, who aspired to leave the ideal city as his cultural heritage. Surrounded by 16th century fortifications, Sabbioneta main points of interest are the Imperial and Victory access gates, the Gallery of the Ancients in Piazza d’Armi, the Olympic Theatre designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi and decorated with frescoes by Paolo Veronese, but also the church of Santa Maria Assunta, the Palazzo Ducale and the Palazzo Giardino. In the late afternoon, we return to our hotel or overnight in Mantua.
Typical dish tortelli with pumpkin and risotto with sausage
- Guided tour for whole day.
- All transfers
- The planned visits and any entrance tickets
What’s not included:
- Anything not explictly specified
- Personal expenses.