Mantua is a historic city that owed its glory for centuries to the aristocratic Gonzaga family. It was their headquarters, and to this day the most important building in the city is the 16th century Ducal Palace. Under the Gonzaga rule, Mantua was a capital of art and culture comparable to the largest Italian cities. Today its monuments are on the UNESCO list.
Although the history of the city dates back to Etruscan times, there are hardly any traces of the ancient period. After the fall of the Roman Empire, these areas were the subject of several centuries of rivalry between the Byzantines, Lombards and the Franks. The city began to develop only in the 10th / 11th century, and its heyday began after it passed into the hands of the Gonzaga in the 13th century.
From the 13th century to 1708, Mantua was the capital of the principality and the seat of the Gonzaga family. The most important memento of those times and at the same time the main attraction of Mantua is the gothic-renaissance, monumental Ducal Palace. Today, it houses a museum that allows you to admire the wonderfully decorated chambers and delightful wall paintings.
The entire building complex of Mantua's Old Town makes a great impression. It has survived to our times in an almost unchanged condition, with numerous churches such as the Basilica of Sant Andrea or the Cathedral of St. Piota, the city's palaces, the fortified castle of San Giorgio Castle and the picturesque squares where life is vibrant until late at night.
An important monument in Mantua is the 15th century Palazzo Te located outside the city and surrounded by Italian gardens. It was the Gonzaga's summer residence, a hunting lodge, and intended for feasts and balls. Today it houses the Palazzo Museum with art collections.