Mantua: guided tours of the city fo the Gonzaga Family
Guided tours of Mantua, amid renaissance piazzas and monuments. Discover the history of this magnificent city with a licensed tour guide. Mantua is a splendid historical city that's situated in the lower Po river valley, surrounded by water. If you close your eyes, its easy to imagine the journey of a 19th century adventurer traversing this magnificent Lombard city.
Mantua, the city of the noble Gonzaga family, is also famously known as the birthplace of Virgil. At first glance, Mantua seduces tourists with its imposing Castel San Giorgio and the renowned Camera degli Sposi by Andrea Mantegna, which welcome countless visitors each year. Visitors can't help but remain in awe of this little Venice nestled in the heart of the Po River Valley, suggestively surrounded by the waters of the River Mincio, which offers boaters the opportunity to enjoy fascinating excursions.
The highlights during the walking tour in the city centre
The first must-see destination in the city's historic centre is Casa del Rigoletto, the home of the jester rendered famous by the music of Giuseppe Verdi.
In Piazza Sordello, visitors will find themselves admiring the magnificent Palazzo Ducale, the splendid palace of the Gonzaga family, not to mention the beautiful white façade of the Cathedral of San Pietro, with its breathtaking luminous interior designed by Giulio Romano, a preferred pupil of Raphael.
Mantua is also home to numerous Medieval buildings dating back to the period of the medieval communes, when the centre of civil power was located between Piazza Broletto, home to Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo del Massaro and the Torre della Gabbia (the "Cage Tower"), and Piazza delle Erbe, which is overlooked by Palazzo della Ragione, the Torre dell’orologio (the "Clock Tower"), the arcades and Casa del Mercante. Here, the true artistic jewel is the Romanesque church of San Lorenzo, one of Italy's rare examples of a church with a circular floorplan, which was rediscovered just one century ago.
Not far off, in Piazza Mantegna, visitors can admire the classical façade of the Basilica di Sant’Andrea, designed by Leon Battista Alberti, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture whose single-nave interior features breathtaking side chapels and a splendid crypt housing the Sacri Vasi (the "Sacred Vessels"). Close by, visitors can also find one of Italy's most beautiful Baroque style theatres, Teatro Scientifico, designed by Antonio Galli Bibiena.
The lovielest villa of all Italian art
Just outside the historic centre, on the city's outskirts, stands the imposing Palazzo Te, a true masterpiece by Giulio Romano, a former apprentice at Raffael's workshop who designed and decorated one of Italy's most splendid suburban villas right here in Mantua. While boasting the appearance of a Roman villa on the outside, the wildly colourful interior features numerous artistic and architectural peculiarities. Some of the most suggestive features include the monumental Sala dei Cavalli, Sala di Amore e Psiche, and Sala dei Giganti, which can't help but dazzle every unsuspecting tourist.
Contact a local guide to discover the city
All this and much more can be illustrated by Mantua's licensed tour guides during your free time, who will also help you to fully appreciate the beauty of the nearby provinces and the areas surrounding Lake Garda. Stay up to date with the latest news and local events by signing up for our newsletter or request a quote for your upcoming visit. I am at your complete disposal to help you create the perfect itinerary throughout the city of Mantua and its surrounding territories.