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Mantua

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Palazzo della Ragione

Mantua (Italian: Mantova) is a world heritage listed city in Lombardy, Italy not far from Emilia-Romagna and Veneto. Because of the power and influence of the Gonzaga family, which used to own the city for over 400 years, Mantua was considered one of the most important cultural cities in the Renaissance and it still maintains a lot of the buildings that made it famous during that period. It was also the city where the composer Claudio Monteverdi premiered his opera L'Orfeo (1607), the earliest opera that is still regularly performed today.

Mantua was named "Capital of Italian culture 2016".

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport to Mantua is Valerio Catullo Airport located near Verona, on the Brennero's Highway, just 25 minutes away from the city. Other options are Guglielmo Marconi Airport, near Bologna, 1 hour far, and Orio al serio Airport, near Bergamo, reachable in less than 1 hour and half via Highway.
The airport in Verona served by some low-cost airline such as WizzAir (to Bucharest), EasyJet (to London-Gatwich, Paris-Charles de Gaulle) and VoloTea (to Bari, Palermo). Other big carriers such as Alitalia and Lufthansa serve this airport daily.
Airports in Bologna and Bergamo are served by the low-cost carrier Ryanair.

By train[edit]

The railway line Verona-Modena pass through this station. It is also the end of the line of the trains from Monselice and Cremona. Train service for Milan is available everyday, every two hours and it costs €10,75. For Verona the frequency is every 40 minutes and the price is €3,15. Via Verona you can easily reach cities like Venice, Brescia, Trento, Bolzano and via Modena you can reach Parma, Reggio Emilia, Bologna up to all southern cities. If you have to reach Bologna quickly, so you don't want to use the railway line Verona-Modena and change the train, a good idea would be catch the train on the Verona-Bologna line using the Nogara station, only 20 minutes car away from the city center of Mantua.

  • 3 Stazione Ferroviaria (Railway station), Piazza don Leoni. Regional train services are operated by Trenord, the long distance trains are operated by Trenitalia. The city centre approx. 1km E from the station.

By bus[edit]

Main bus station is located just outside the Train station. APAM S.p.a. offers many busses that connect the whole province with the city. Brescia, Sirmione, Peschiera del Garda, Mirandola are also cities served by this company. To know timetables and fares the easiest way is to use Google Maps which, thanks to a collaboration between Apam and Google, it's very accurate in timetables and routes.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

The court of Ludovico III Gonzaga, Andrea Mantegna, Camera degli Sposi, St. George castle, 1465-1474
The fall of the Giants, Sala dei Giganti, Palazzo Te
Sordello square by night
  • 1 Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), Piazza Sordello, 40, +39 041 2411897. Tu-Su: 8:45-19:15 (last admission 18:20); 5 Jun-16 Oct, Fr: 8:45-20.30 (box office until 19:20) ticket information. This complex is a marvel of medieval and Renaissance architecture and artistry. It was the home of the Gonzaga family from 1328 to 1707, extended through the period, and including more than 500 rooms. NB: The famous Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber) was reopened in 2015 after it was damaged by a quake (max. 1,500 persons per day). Corte Vecchia + Castello di S.Giorgio (Bridal Chamber) + Freddi's collection: €13.00; Corte Vecchia only: € 7.50.
  • 2 Castello di San Giorgio. The castle is a part of the Ducal Palace. Currently it hosts the Museum of modern and contemporary arts.
  • 3 Palazzo Te (Palazzo del Te), Viale Te, 13, +39 0376 323266. M 13-18, Tu-Su 9-18. The "Palazzo del T", as it was called initially, is a splendid palace in the south end of Mantua, it is an acknowledged masterpiece of the architect Giulio Romano. The palace is a fine example of Renaissance implementation of Villa Suburbana (suburban residence). It is also famous for its grotesque frescos in a mannerist style, which are rare example of secular paintings of that time. Currently the palace also hosts International Centre of Art and Culture € 9.
  • 4 Basilica Di Sant'Andrea, Piazza Andrea Mantegna (or piazza L.B. Alberti). this world famous church (dating from 1472 onwards), is the work of the architect Leon Battista Alberti, one of the founders of Renaissance architecture.
  • 5 [dead link]Cattedrale di San Pietro apostolo (Duomo), Piazza Sordello. Built in different architectural styles, from Romanesque, to Renaissance and Baroque.
  • 6 Rotonda di San Lorenzo (St Lawrence's Church). M-F: Summer: 10.00-13.00, 15.00-19.00, Winter: 10.00-13.00, 14.00-18.00; Sa-Su: 10.00-18.00. Built in the late 11th century. It is the oldest church in the city; restored to its original forms in the early of 20th century. free, contributions are welcome.
  • 7 Palazzo Bonacolsi, Piazza Sordello. 14th-century building by Pinamonte Bonacolsi, a residence of Mantua rulers from 1274 to 1328.
  • 8 Palazzo del Broletto (Palazzo del Podestà), Piazza Broletto. 13th-century palace, currently houses the commune government in Mantua.
  • 9 Palazzo della Ragione (Palatium Novum), Piazza delle Erbe. 14th century building with portico of the XV century. Initially it a seat of the Court of Justice and notarial archives.
  • 10 Torre dell'Orologio (Clock Tower) (access from the hall of the Palazzo della Ragione). Tu-F 10-13, 15-18, Sa-Su 10-19 (box office closes 1h earlier). Currently hosts Museo del Tempo (Museum of time). €3.
  • 11 Palazzo Valenti Gonzaga, Via Pietro Frattini, 7 (Info-point, ticketing & reservations at Piazza Mantegna, 9/A, across the street from the Tourist Office), +39 3484419954. T-Fr only by prior reservation; Sa-Su by guided tour 10,00 - 11.00 to 12.00, 15.00 to 16.00 - 17.00 to 18.00. The palace received its Baroque style and decor in 1670. €8.
  • 12 Casa della Beata Osanna Andreasi (The house of the Blessed Osanna Andreasi), Via Pietro Frattini, 9 (next to Palazzo Valenti Gonzaga), +39 0376 322297, +39 347 2399114, +39 339 6624824. Tu, Fr: 10.30 - 12.30; Th: 18 - 19; Daily by appointment.. A rare example of an almost intacty preserved 15th century house, which was a home to the Blessed Osanna of Mantua. Currently the building in hands of the Domenican Fraternity free guided tours, contributions are welcome.
  • 14 Palazzo d'Arco, Piazza d'Arco, 4, +39 0376322242. Built in 1784 in neoclassical style. There is a nice garden there. It is also a museum, which is currently (2015) closed for a restoration.
  • 15 Torre della Gabbia (Cage Tower), Via Cavour. A symbol of the power of families Bonacolsi and Gonzaga, but it was used a prison from the beginning of the 13th century.
  • 16 Pescherie di Giulio Romano (Loggia di Giulio Romano). Fishmonger's loggia built by Giulio Romano.
  • 17 Casa di Giulio Romano, via Poma, 18. House (built in 1544) of Giulio Romano, the architect of Palazzo Te, he also designed the interior of Duomo.
  • 18 Casa di Giovan Boniforte da Concorezzo (Casa del Mercante), Piazza Erbe, 26 (at the corner of Piazza Erbe and Piazza Mantegna). The building (built in 1455) features a striking facade with decorations of Venetian style.
  • 19 Casa del Cappellaio (Domus mercati or Casa del mercato or La casa dipinta), Piazza Marconi, 13. a frescoed (attributed to the school of Andrea Mantegna) Renaissance house built in 1462.
  • 20 Casa del Mantegna. Tu-Su: 10.00-12.30, 15.00-18.00. Built in 1476, the building's external walls are square in plan with a circular court. It is used currently for temporary exhibitions. During exhibitions €2–€5, otherwise - free.
  • 21 Teatro Scientifico del Bibiena ("scientific" theatre), Via Accademia 47 (please contact infopoint at Casa del Rigoletto), +39 0376 327653, e-mail: . T-Su: 9.30-12.30, 15.00-18.00. Opened in 1769, it is an interesting example of a theatrical interior design of the 2nd half of the 18th century. € 2.00.

Do[edit]

  • Take a boat trip on the lakes and rivers around Mantua.

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Pizzeria Ristorante Europa, Via Saverio Bettinelli, 14 (next building on the left from the station), +39 0376 363238. A convenient place to have a pizza while you're waiting for a train. There are some tables at the back court yard.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Corte Chiara, Str. Tezze, 1 - 46047 Porto Mantovano (MN) (Just on the outskirts of Mantua to the north (3,5 km)), +39 0376-390804, fax: +39 0376-390804, e-mail: . This agritourist camp offers both cheap rooms and camping sites to pitch a tent. Super friendly owners/staff, nice food, horse riding available. From 30€ single room and 60€ double room..
  • ABC Hotel, Piazza Don Leoni 25/27 (10 minutes far from the city center), +39 0376-322329, fax: +39 0376-310303, e-mail: . 3 stars hotel located just in front of the train station. Clean rooms, nice furniture and surprisingly good breakfast. Bicycle renting is available and there is free wi-fi. Expect to pay around 15€ for parking. Range.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Hotel Italia, Piazza Cavallotti N°8, +39 0376322609, e-mail: . Check-out: 11. Though it looks a bit ugly from the outside, the rooms are quite ok. An ok breakfast buffet is included in the price. There seems to be a curfew of some kind during the week but the nice nightwatchman might allow exceptions. s: 60 €.

Splurge[edit]

Hotel Casa Poli, Corso Garibaldi 32, +39 0376-288170, fax: +39 0376-362766, e-mail: . Elegant atmosphere, minimalist design and quality services. Expensive.

Go next[edit]

Teatro all'Antica, Sabbioneta
  • Sabbioneta – a Renaissance ideal town. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site on par with Mantua.
  • Castel Goffredo – one of the capitals of the states of the Gonzaga.
  • Lake Garda – is at an easy reach by a direct bus 46 to Peschiera del Garda (take off at Piazza Bettelloni). From where you can take a ferry to the other destinations around the lake. Adventurous ones could take a bike ride right up to Peschiera along the Mincio Cycleway.


This city travel guide to Mantua is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.