Today, this world renowned tiny Italian city is home to some 10,000 homes and is surrounded by a number of artificial lakes that were created way back in the 12th Century. The city attracts visitors from all over the world, especially the ones who are attracted by the ageless history and its unfathomable tradition of art and architecture.
One of the most breathtaking palaces of the city is the Palazzo Tè or the Tea Palace. This fascinating architectural beauty was conceptualized by Giulio Romano, the famous Italian architect and painter, and served as the summer villa of the Gonzaga family and Frederick II. At present, the palace is home to the Civic Museum of Mantova.
Another most sought after tourist spots of the city is the Palazzo Ducale or the Ducal Palace, which is a collection of fascinating 14th and 17th Century buildings that were used by the Gonzala Family as their chief residence. The most remarkable specialty of these buildings is that each building is connected by an array of galleries and corridors with the other. The entire complex is comprised of some 500 rooms and a number of inner courts, wonderfully maintained and care gardens and innumerable frescos that leave the visitors and admirers of art virtually speechless. Other architectural beauties of the city include Basilica Di Sant'Andrea and Rotonda Di San Lorenzo.
The city is spread over just 64 sq km, which makes it tiny, to say the least. If you visit to see the monuments and all the architectural wonders, they are more or less concentrated around the city center, making your task trifle easier.
The city is accessible from the nearby cities like Modena, Verona, Bologna, Cremona through extensive roads and regular private and public transport system is there to ferry passengers to and from the city. For those interested in hiring private cars the Milan-Venice A4 motorway and the A22 motorway are the best options, while those taking flights to and from the city can use the nearest airport Verona-Villafranca.
Mantova is also home to some of the best accommodation facilities in the form of hotels and guest houses that offer not only the most luxurious accommodation facilities, but also provide foods at permissible price range.
The city also offers some of the best restaurants that come up with the most exotic and exquisite Italian cuisines including the very traditional osterias and trattorias. Of them, Ristorante Griffon Bianco, Osteria della Fragoleta, Trattoria Alla Nuova Marasca, Ristorante Aquila Nigra, and a few others are the most popular one.
For those interested in shopping, Mantova is a paradise. With a hoard of shopping streets with stores offering a wide range of clothes and jewelry, bags and footwear, the city is a ‘must visit’ place for the shopaholics. The older part of the city comes up with shops offering artifacts, souvenirs, handicrafts, while the food shops offer a wide range of Italian cheese and local wines that will leave you drooling!