Mantova is a beautiful city, declared in 2008 by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Humanity and in 2016 also named Italian Capital of Culture.
If you have the time to pass by this place you will soon find out that all of these nominees are very appropriate for this city.
Few know it, but Mantua is a city built around three lakes fed by the Mincio river. This makes it a true city of water in the middle of the Po Valley, with an extraordinary urban landscape, especially when viewed from the San Giorgio Bridge.
The castle of Mantua is amazing and if you have the chance to see it both during the day and during the night time you will love it so much.
If you already to discover some of the best things to visit in this city and what to eat in the city of Mantova read on this guide.
The historic center winds around 4 pivotal squares, one of which is the marvelous Piazza Erbe. Not far away is the river park that runs along the lake from the historic center.
We can start our tour of Mantova from Palazzo Ducale is the place where the power of the Gonzaga family was born and developed. It is one of the largest court buildings in Europe.
In the more than 500 rooms that make up Palazzo Ducale in Mantua, the Gonzaga family lived and ruled from 1328 to 1707, that is until the duke Ferdinando Carlo was forced into exile.
Palazzo Te is a Masterpiece by Giulio Romano commissioned by Francesco II Gonzaga. The name derives from one of the islands that once existed on the Mantua canal, the island of Tejeto, abbreviated precisely to “Te”.
The rooms are frescoed in a sublime way: to mention the famous Sala Dei Giganti, with frescoed classic scenes by groups of Titans and ancient pagan divinities.
The Castle of San Giorgio was born as a defensive building at the end of the 1300s, it is recognizable by its 4 towers, of which the one located to the north-east houses the famous Camera Degli Sposi.
The Cathedral of Mantua was dedicated to the apostle Peter. Originally built in the early Christian era, the church has been remodeled several times over the centuries: the bell tower has a Romanesque style.
The façade, decorated with rosettes and pinacol, is in the Baroque style and has replaced the ancient Gothic facade.
Known as “the ideal city”, Sabbioneta is certainly among the most beautiful towns in Italy and if you have time you should pay a visit to this little town as well.
Today there are the shops under the arcades, the tables of the bars and those of the restaurants to characterize the commercial and tourist heart of Mantua.
Some other monuments and museum worth a visit are:
One of my favorite dishes when going to Mantova is the Tortelli Di Zucca (Tortelli With Pumpkin), I love how sweet they taste and here in Mantova pumpkins are growing awesome thanks to the humid climate of the Po Valley in Lombardy.
There are many other dishes you can eat and in Mantova, there is no way that you will step out of a restaurant with even a fraction of disappointment.
Risotto Alla Pilota is a risotto seasoned with pork and salami and you can find it only in this province of Italy and is awesome.
The Stracotto D’asino is another dish that you will not be able to find anywhere else, the donkey meat is cooked several times and from that, it gets the name Stracotto (hyper cooked).
If you want to check out some recipes here is a good link of these plates:
In order to explain the beauty of this city, you will need to go visit it. There is no way that you won’t like it and probably this is one of the most underrated and beautiful cities in the north of Italy that not a lot of people are visiting.
The charm of this city is great all year long and you will enjoy walking along the walks of the castle and the beautiful waters that are crossing the roads of Mantua in any season.
During Christmas, the city turns into a beautiful Christmas town that is enchanting and during summer there are a lot of nice things to do as well and a good nightlife because of its famous university.
If you visit Mantua during July or August, thousands of lotus flowers bloom on Lake Superior.
It is not known if for a legend linked to an oriental girl or an unsuccessful investment in “lotus flowers”, the fact is that in these two months the already marvelous panorama of Mantua turns into an oriental magic view.
I hope that by now you have some interested in visiting this beautiful Italian city and that you will bring your best friends or family to enjoy this gem of a city and its architecture and arts.
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