Mantua, (Mantova in italian) is a small Italian town which is located only half an hour from Verona. If you want to see something different than the main tourist destinations, Mantova is the right choice. One weekend will be enough to see the city and enjoy the good italian food and culture.
How to get there
- By plane to some Italian city in the North of Italy and then train
- Venice – Verona – Mantova (from 12.90 euro)
- Milan – Mantova – direct train (11.50 Euro)
What to see
- Piazza delle Erbe – is one of the many squares through the city, for me one of the most beautiful, here you can enjoy the beautiful architecture all around you, on this square you can see also the clock tower. A weekly outdoor market is held right on this square, where you can find everything, from food to clothing.
- Piazza Sordello – is the main square, where you can find the Duomo, the main church of the city. The whole square is made of cobblestones and very often people here are joking, if you want a free foot massage, go to the square.
- Castello San Giorgio – Castle which is located immediately after the main square. In this castle is situated “Camera degli sposi” (bridal chamber), a masterpiece of Andrea Mantegna, a gift to the royal family Gonzaga.
- Basilica di Sant’Andrea – situated in Piazza Erbe, projected by Leon Battista Alberti. With characteristic Renaissance cupola and big tower in Gothic style. This is the largest church in Mantua and also the most visited by residents. It is believed that in this church is preserved ampoule with the blood of Jesus. The outside steps of the church are meeting point for many young people and mostly socialize and meet exactly in this place.
- Casa di Rigoletto –they believe that this was the house of the famous court jester Rigoletto.
- Palazzo Te -This palace is one of the most visited places in the city of Mantova. Here, today they are organizing various exhibitions and events. One of the most famous rooms is “Sala dei Giganti”, here you can see some of the most beautiful frescoes of Giulio Romano. In this was made part of the video of Jovanotti, for his song L’ombelico del mondo.
- Parco naturale sul Mincio – Mincio is the river that is running through the city of Mantova. Along the river is built cycling path that leads to Lake Garda. Really beautiful scenery and good place for sport and recreation. In Mantova and its surroundings there are lot of beautiful places that you can discover by bike.
- Festival della Letteratura – In Mantova, every September, there is the famous Literature Festival. I recommend you to visit the city during that period. Mantova during the festival is full with people and famous writers and artists from around the world. This is also one of the biggest festivals in Italy of this kind. And the events organized during the festival are held in all the most famous buildings, churches and palaces in the city, which are opening its doors to visitors only during the festival. The whole city is doing volunteer work on this festival and provides a truly extraordinary and unforgettable experience, not only for adults, but also for children.
What to eat
- Tortelli di zucca -tortelini stuffed with pumpkin and parmigiano. I really like it, simply great and delicious.
- Risotto con i saltaréi – risotto with shrimp
- Polenta – various types of polenta, there is even grilled polenta
- Torta sbrisolona – Traditional crunchy cake flavored with almonds and butter. This cake is not cut into pieces but crumbling in small pieces
- Torta delle rose – simple cake based on butter and the form is like a bouquet of roses
Where to Sleep
In Mantua there are several hotels, and more B & B. Prices range from 20 euros up
What to buy
My recommendation is to take home some “food souvenir” tortelli di zucca and sbrisolona cake!