Mantua (Italian: Mantova, Emilian: Mantua) 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".
The nearest airport to Mantua is 1 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 away, 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 airlines such as WizzAir (to Bucharest), EasyJet (to London-Gatwick, 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.
The Verona-Modena railway line passes through 2 Mantova railway station, located in Piazza Don Leoni. It is also the end of the line for trains arriving 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 catching the train on the Verona-Bologna line using the Nogara station, 20 minutes away by car from the city center of Mantua. Regional train services are operated by Trenord, the long distance trains are operated by Trenitalia. The city centre approx. 1 km E from the station.
Main bus station is just outside the Train station. APAM S.p.a. offers many buses 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.
Mantua is crossed by the motorway (Autostrada del Brennero), that runs from Modena to Brenner. The best choice to reach the centre is the exit of Mantova Nord, just 5 km (3 miles) north of Piazza Sordello.
APAM S.p.a. manages the bus urban service in town and in the nearby municipalities and it's a good choice to move around the different areas of the city.
A large section of the old town is a limited traffic zone (ZTL) and a pass is required to drive in this area, so it is better to park your car in one of the parking areas that surrounds it.
- 1 Campo Canoa
- 2 Piazza Anconetta
- 3 Piazzale Ragazzi del '99. Just south of the stadium, not far from Palazzo Te.
- 4 Viale Isonzo. Close to Palazzo Te.
- 5 Viale Te. Large parking area close to Palazzo Te.
- 6 Lungolago Gonzaga. Close to Teatro Bibiena.
- 7 Piazza Virgiliana. Beside the namesake public garden, not far from the Cathedral.
- 8 Viale Risorgimento. Close to Palazzo Te and the House of Mantegna.
- 1 Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), Piazza Sordello, 40, ☎ . Tu-Su 08:45-19:15 (last admission 18:20); 5 Jun-16 Oct: F 08:45-20:30 (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. It hosts the Museum of modern and contemporary arts.
- 3 Palazzo Te (Palazzo del Te), Viale Te, 13, ☎ . M 13:00-18:00, Tu-Su 09:00-18:00. The "Palazzo del T", as it used to be called, 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. 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 [formerly 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 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, which houses the commune government in Mantua.
- 9 Palazzo della Ragione (Palatium Novum), Piazza delle Erbe. 14th-century building with portico of the 15th century. It used to be 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 10:00-13:00, 15:00-18:00, Sa Su 10:00-19:00 (box office closes 1 hr earlier). 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), ☎ . Tu-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), ☎ , , . Tu F 10:30-12:30; Th 18:00-19:00; daily by appointment. A rare example of an almost intacty preserved 15th-century house, which was a home to the Blessed Osanna of Mantua. The building in the hands of the Domenican Fraternity free guided tours, contributions are welcome.
- 13 Palazzo Canossa, Piazza Canossa.
- 14 Palazzo d'Arco, Piazza d'Arco, 4, ☎ . Tu-Su 09:30-13:00, 14:30-18:00 (the ticket office closes one hour before). Built in 1784 in neoclassical style. There is a nice garden there. It is also a museum. It is possible for those who have motor disabilities to use a stair lift crawler to visit the floor of the palace -- please call the museum to alert them of arrival time. €7, €2 for children under 12, €5 for youth (12-18 years) and visitors in possession of the ticket to the Park Bertone visited on the same day.
- 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 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), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Su 09:30-12:30, 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.
- Go to the museums:
- Take a boat trip on the lakes and rivers around Mantua.
- 1 Doolin Irish Pub, Via Giovanni Zambelli, 8 (close to Piazza Virgiliana), ☎ . Tu-Th 18:30-01:00; Fr-Sa 18:30-02:00; Su 18:30-00:00. This pub has become a true institution in town due to the quality of the drinks and the dishes served. Here you will find beer, cocktails and excellent burgers.
- 2 Il Gallone, Via Leon D'Oro, 13 (In front of Piazza Broletto), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. We-Su 18:30-01:30. An incredible selection of original cocktails in a small club in the heart of the historic centre.
- 3 Zanzara, Giardini Barbato (Waterfront of Lago Superiore), ☎ . 10:00-00:00. Enjoy a stunning view of the sunset over the lake while drinking a good cocktail. This place usually offers evenings of music and small artistic events. Low-range.
- 1 ABC Hotel, Piazza Don Leoni 25/27 (10 minutes far from the city center), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. 3-star hotel in front of the train station. Clean rooms, nice furniture and surprisingly good breakfast. Bicycle renting is available and there is free WiFi. Expect to pay around €15 for parking.
- 2 Albergo Bianchi Stazione, Piazza Don Leoni, 24 (10 minutes from city center), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 3-star hotel just in front of the railway station. Tourist information available.
- 3 Corte Chiara, Strada Tezze, 1 - 46047 Porto Mantovano (MN) (Just on the outskirts of Mantua to the north (3.5 km)), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. 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..
- 4 Hotel Italia, Piazza Cavallotti, 8, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-out: 11:00. 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. from €60.
- 9 IAT Mantova (Tourist office), Piazza Mantegna, 6, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Apr-Sep: M-F 09:00-13:30, 14:30-18:00, Sa 09:00-18:00, Su 09:00-13:00; Oct-Mar: M-F 09:00-13:30, 14:30-17:00; Sa Su 09:00-17:00.
- 10 InfoPoint Rigoletto, Piazza Sordello, 23 (Casa del Rigoletto), ☎ . Daily 09:00-19:00.
- 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.