Mantua

Piazza Erbe
One of the most historic cities in the region of Lombardy, Mantua is o­ne the areas in Italy that was most heavily influenced by the Renaissance that swept through Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. With the vast power of the Gonzaga family, Mantua quickly became the cultural epicenter of Lombardy and, indeed, the entire nation of Italy. Famed as o­ne of the birthplaces of Italian opera, Mantua is also home to many historical artifacts, ancient churches and palaces, and authentic architecture that gives the entire city a vibe of being frozen in the Renaissance.

Located at the southern end of Mantua, the Palazzo Te is just o­ne of the cities many examples of historical architecture. Completed in 1535, this marvel from the mind of Giulio Romano served as the summer home for Frederick II of Gonzaga and currently is home to the Museuo Civico, an institute dedicated to showcasing art works from various eras in human history. Furthermore, there is the Palazzo Ducale, the 500 room estate that was built in the 14th century and o­nce was the main residence of the Gonzaga family. Now a museum open to the public, this edifice is the very definition of opulent living and definitely embraces the spirit of the era it was erected in.

With canals and cobblestone streets reminiscent of an time long forgotten, Mantua stands as a monument to the great minds of the European Renaissance. Each building is a testament to the art style that inspired an entire continent, and many of its edifices stand as a reminder of that spirit of inspiration. Anyone with a thirst for artistic history or Italian culture can do no better than Mantua, o­ne of the most inspired cities in all of Lombardy. With towering commemorations to its abundant history and a plethora of museums and cultural centers, the city's artistic spirit really speaks for itself.