Birthplace of Great Poet, Publius Virgilianus
Mantova has dedicated one park, a national academy, and two streets to the great Latin poet, Publius Virgilius Marone (70 BC-19BC).
We walked to the southern outskirts of the city to see the imposing monument of Virgil in the park. Supposedly, the first plants were put in the Lucus Virgilianus (now called the Bosco Virgiliano) in 1931. Originally, 58,00 plants were to be planted in the 10 hectares of the park.
The park did survive World War II and is now popular with joggers and families from Mantova (Mantua).
Nearby is a sport's center with facilities for rugby, tennis, football, and other athletics. Also a riding and a motocross track is there as well as a golf facility.
I must say that I was most alarmed by the grafitti all over Virgil's statue!
Cathedral is not the biggest church in town but it has long history. Originally it was built like a gothic church but renovated several times. It’s small but very impressive inside. Don’t miss to take a look at painted central cupola… you would be fascinated!
Basilica di Sant'Andrea
Leon Battista Alberti died in 1472 and problems set in immediately, first regarding the foundations, then in relation to the restraints set by the neighboring buildings and finally lack of money.
The superintendent of works became Luca Fancelli who transformated the original nucleus, of which the bell tower erected in 1413 is still standing. Later on, at the end of the 16th century, Antonio Maria Viani added the crypt but the whole building was finally finished in 1782 by the architect Filippo Juvarra.
The three hundred years that lapsed between the original design and the final realization, make it impossible to know what Alberti's original model looked like.
"The old core of the town"
Mantova was probably founded by the Etruscans, who had occupied a good part of the Plain of the Po. It is a town of art and culture, and was one of the most flourishing centers of Renaissance. The town reached its zenith under Gonzaga patronage, with the presence in the city first of Andrea Mantegna.
In the past hundred years the city has found it difficult to adapt to its new role as provincial center. It is only 40km far from Verona, absolutely a must see when around.
The complex, which is generally called the Ducal Palace or the Gonzaga Palace, consist of a series of buildings, dating to different periods, which were joined together in the course of the 13th to 17th centuries.
"Castello di San Giorgio"
The Castle of San Giorgio was built between 1390 and 1406 by the engineer Bartolino da Novara. It is located in a peropheral site overlooking the lakes and next to the Gonzaga residence, surrounded by a moat and drawbridges.
The central court was rebuilt by Andrea Mantegna, where Camera degli Sposi or Camera Picta is situated, one of the most celebrated rooms in all of Renaissance painting.