Let’s start talking about Mantova by recommending a visit to Palazzo Te, the villa of leisure and entertainment, made at the request of Federico II Gonzaga in the first half of 1500, by Giulio Romano. The idea is to transform a stable of horses of the Gonzaga family in a villa of fun to use to welcome international guests and organize pompous parties. Today Palazzo Te is one of the most beautiful and important villas of Italy. It offers a rare concentration of art and history. Among the many rooms that can be visited we point out the Camera di Amore e Psiche, dedicated to the myth taken from "Metamorphosis" of Apuleius and the Camera dei Giganti, a room that portrays the Fall of the Giants of Ovid that will leave you speechless. In short, visit absolutely recommended.
For those who have more time or for those prefer an outdoor activity we recommend to dedicate a few hours to the navigation of the Mincio. In Mantova we find the Mincio Regional Park, a very large protected area that includes in addition to the Mincio River, the Po and the Mantova Lakes. A special experience to try is that of the lift on the water, the navigation basins that fill the difference in height between Mincio and Po connecting them. Navigating the Mincio you can admire the city of Mantova, enjoying the suggestive view from a particular perspective.
Another unmissable stop is undoubtedly the Palazzo Ducale, the historic residence of the Gonzaga, dukes of the city of Mantova. Built by the will of Guido Bonacolsi in 1200, the Palace has always represented the center of power of the city. Passed in the hands of the Gonzaga in 1328 was deeply modified reaching over time the current majesty. 34,000 square meters of extension, over 1000 rooms, 15 gardens between squares and courtyards to retrace the four centuries of the reign of the Gonzaga in Mantova. The visit is structured in 3 distinct phases: the Castello di San Giorgio, with the famous Camera degli Sposi of Mantegna, the Corte Vecchia, with the Sala del Pisanello, and the Corte Nuova.
A walk through the historic center of Mantova allows you to get in touch with the secular history of this city. Many squares, monuments and churches enclosed in the oldest streets of Mantova. The main squares are Piazza Sordello and Piazza delle Erbe. Piazza Sordello, the largest, is dedicated to the Mantuan poet of 300 Sordello da Goito. This square overlooks the oldest part of the Palazzo Ducale and stands the Torre della Gabbia a fourteenth-century tower, from which, once the restoration work is completed, you can have a glimpse of the city from above. Piazza delle Erbe, once dedicated to the market, is now located under its arcades of numerous shops, restaurants and bars. In this square we also find the Torre dell'orologio, the Palazzo della Ragione and the Casa del Mercante. Other obligatory stops of the walk are, without doubt, the Duomo of Mantova, church of the XI Century crucible of many different styles, and the Basilica of Sant'Andrea, Renaissance work of Leon Battista Alberti.
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