To the North of Italy!!
Maybe it's because of the weather – known to be foggy and gray during more or less the whole year – or because of the people – known to be cold and introverted – but I've always preferred to take trips to the Center or South of Italy, instead of going to the North. I've visited the bigger cities in this part of the country (for example Milano, Torino and Venezia) but never went to the smaller ones.
However, as we use to say, “there is always a first time”.
A few weekends ago I went to Mantova, a small city in the Region of Lombardia. The city is on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2008 and is considered to be one of the main Renaissance center in Europe.
With great surprise, I discovered that Mantova is beautiful, rich in history and art, that people are nice and welcoming, that the food is delicious. The weather wasn't so nice, but the fog gave to the city a mysterious and intriguing atmosphere.
Along with walking on the streets and trying typical products (as the zucca mantovana, agnoli in brodo or the sbrisolona), I visited Palazzo Ducale and Palazzo Te.
The first one has been for centuries, starting from the XIV Century, the residential building of the families that, time after time, ruled the city. The family that is most tight to the history of Mantova and that led it to its splendor is the Gonzaga family.
The most famous room of this building is the “Camera degli Sposi”, a small and squared room covered by frescoes, painted between 1465 and 1474 by Andrea Mantegna.
Palazzo Te was built and decorated by Giulio Romano between 1525 and 1535 as a place where Federico II Gonzaga, the patron of the palace, could rest and relax.
Among the many rooms inside Palazzo Te, those that mostly caught my attention – thanks to the richness of the frescoes and to the emotions that they can instill on the visitor – are Camera di Amore e Psiche and Camera dei Giganti.
Camera di Amore e Psiche
Camera dei Giganti
Camera dei Giganti
Italian Language and Culture teacher