Mantua

Mantua

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Mantua is a city and comune
Comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

in Lombardy
Lombardy
Lombardy is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe...

, Italy and capital of the province
Province of Mantua
The Province of Mantua is a province in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. Its capital is the city of Mantua.-Communes:It includes 70 comuni , ranging in area from Viadana, with 102.19 km², to Mariana Mantovana, with 8.81 km²....

 of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

istic, cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 and notably music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

al hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole. Mantua is noted for its significant role in the history of opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

, and the city is known for its several architectural treasures and artifacts, elegant palaces or palazzi, and its medieval and Renaissance cityscape. It is the town to which Romeo was banished in William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

's play
Play (theatre)
A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed...

 Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

. It is also the nearest town to the birthplace of the Roman writer, Virgil
Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

.

Mantua is surrounded on three sides by artificial lakes created during the 12th century. These receive the waters of the river Mincio
Mincio
Mincio is a river in the Lombardy region of northern Italy.Called the Sarca River before entering Lake Garda, it flows from there about 65 km past Mantua into the Po River....

, which descends from Lake Garda
Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. It is located in Northern Italy, about half-way between Brescia and Verona, and between Venice and Milan. Glaciers formed this alpine region at the end of the last ice age...

. The three lakes are called Lago Superiore, Lago di Mezzo, and Lago Inferiore ("Upper", "Middle" and "Lower" Lakes). A fourth lake, Lake Pajolo, which once completed a defensive water ring of the city, dried up at the end of the 18th century.

History


A settlement existed as early as around 2000 BC on the banks of the Mincio
Mincio
Mincio is a river in the Lombardy region of northern Italy.Called the Sarca River before entering Lake Garda, it flows from there about 65 km past Mantua into the Po River....

, on a sort of island which provided natural protection. In the 6th century BC it was an Etruscan
Etruscan civilization
Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany. The ancient Romans called its creators the Tusci or Etrusci...

 village which, in Etruscan tradition, was re-founded by Ocnus
Ocnus
In Greek and Roman mythology, Ocnus or Bianor was a son of Manto and Tiberinus. He founded Mantua . Alternatively, he was the son or brother of Auletes and founded Felsina or Perusia or Cesena....

.

The name derives from the Etruscan god Mantus
Mantus
In Etruscan myth and religion, Mantus was a god of the underworld in the Po Valley, as described by Servius. A dedication to the god manθ from the Archaic period was found in a sanctuary at Pontecagnano...

, of Hades
Hades
Hades , Hadēs, originally , Haidēs or , Aidēs , meaning "the unseen") was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. The genitive , Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: "[the house/dominion] of Hades". Eventually, the nominative came to designate the abode of the dead.In Greek mythology, Hades...

. After being conquered by the Cenomani
Cenomani (Cisalpine Gaul)
The Cenomani , was an ancient tribe of the Cisalpine Gauls, who occupied the tract north of the Padus , between the Insubres on the west and the Veneti on the east. Their territory appears to have extended from the river Addua to the Athesis...

, a Gallic
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

 tribe, the city was conquered between the first and second Punic wars
Punic Wars
The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 B.C.E. to 146 B.C.E. At the time, they were probably the largest wars that had ever taken place...

 by the Romans
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, who attributed its name to Manto
Manto (mythology)
There are several distinct figures in Greek mythology named Manto, the most prominent being the daughter of Tiresias. The name Manto derives from Ancient Greek Mantis, "seer, prophet" .-Daughter of Tiresias:...

, a daughter of Tiresias
Tiresias
In Greek mythology, Tiresias was a blind prophet of Thebes, famous for clairvoyance and for being transformed into a woman for seven years. He was the son of the shepherd Everes and the nymph Chariclo; Tiresias participated fully in seven generations at Thebes, beginning as advisor to Cadmus...

. The new territory was populated by veteran soldiers of Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

. Mantua's most famous ancient citizen is the poet Publius Vergilius Maro, Virgil
Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

 (Mantua me genuit), who was born near the city in 70 B.C. at the village now known as Virgilio.

After the fall of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, Mantua was invaded in turn by Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, Longobards and Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

. In the 11th century it became a possession of Boniface of Canossa, marquis
Marquess
A marquess or marquis is a nobleman of hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The term is also used to translate equivalent oriental styles, as in imperial China, Japan, and Vietnam...

 of Toscana. The last ruler of the family was the countess Matilda of Canossa
Matilda of Tuscany
Matilda of Tuscany was an Italian noblewoman, the principal Italian supporter of Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy. She is one of the few medieval women to be remembered for her military accomplishments...

 (d. 1115), who, according to legend, ordered the construction of the precious Rotonda di San Lorenzo
Rotonda di San Lorenzo
The Rotonda di San Lorenzo is a religious building in Mantua, Lombardy .It is the most ancient church in the city, having been built during the reign of the Canossa family in the late 11th century. Inspired by the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem and dedicated to the martyr St...

 (1082).

After the death of Matilde of Canossa, Mantua became a free
Free Imperial City
In the Holy Roman Empire, a free imperial city was a city formally ruled by the emperor only — as opposed to the majority of cities in the Empire, which were governed by one of the many princes of the Empire, such as dukes or prince-bishops...

 commune
Medieval commune
Medieval communes in the European Middle Ages had sworn allegiances of mutual defense among the citizens of a town or city. They took many forms, and varied widely in organization and makeup. Communes are first recorded in the late 11th and early 12th centuries, thereafter becoming a widespread...

, and strenuously defended itself from the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1198 Alberto Pitentino altered the course of the Mincio, creating what Mantuans call "the four lakes" to reinforce the city's natural protection. Between 1215 and 1216 the city was under the podesteria
Podestà
Podestà is the name given to certain high officials in many Italian cities, since the later Middle Ages, mainly as Chief magistrate of a city state , but also as a local administrator, the representative of the Emperor.The term derives from the Latin word potestas, meaning power...

of the Guelph Rambertino Buvalelli
Rambertino Buvalelli
Rambertino di Guido Buvalelli , a Bolognese judge, statesman, diplomat, and poet, was the earliest of the podestà-troubadours of thirteenth-century Lombardy. He served at one time or other as podestà of Brescia, Milan, Parma, Mantua, Genoa, and Verona. Ten of his Occitan poems survive, but none...

.

During the struggle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, Pinamonte Bonacolsi took advantage of the chaotic situation to seize power in 1273. His family ruled Mantua for the next century, making it more prosperous and artistically beautiful. On August 16, 1328, the last Bonacolsi, Rinaldo, was overthrown in a revolt backed by the House of Gonzaga
House of Gonzaga
The Gonzaga family ruled Mantua in Northern Italy from 1328 to 1708.-History:In 1433, Gianfrancesco I assumed the title of Marquis of Mantua, and in 1530 Federico II received the title of Duke of Mantua. In 1531, the family acquired the Duchy of Monferrato through marriage...

, a family of officials. Luigi Gonzaga, who had been podestà
Podestà
Podestà is the name given to certain high officials in many Italian cities, since the later Middle Ages, mainly as Chief magistrate of a city state , but also as a local administrator, the representative of the Emperor.The term derives from the Latin word potestas, meaning power...

 of the city in 1318, was elected "People's Captain". The Gonzagas built new walls with five gates and renovated the architecture of the city in the 14th century, but the political situation in the city did not settle until the third Gonzaga, Ludovico Gonzaga
Ludovico Gonzaga
Ludovico Gonzaga was the name of several prominent members of the House of Gonzaga:* Ludovico I Gonzaga , better known as Luigi, the first Capitano del Popolo of Mantua and Imperial Vicar...

, eliminated his relatives, seizing power for himself. During the Renaissance, the Gonzaga family softened their despotic rule and raised the level of culture and refinement in Mantua.

Through a payment of 120,000 golden florins
Italian coin florin
The Italian florin was a coin struck from 1252 to 1533 with no significant change in its design or metal content standard. It had 54 grains of nominally pure gold worth approximately 200 modern US Dollars...

 in 1433, Gianfrancesco I was appointed marquis of Mantua by Emperor Sigismund, whose daughter Barbara of Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

 he married. In 1459 Pope Pius II
Pope Pius II
Pope Pius II, born Enea Silvio Piccolomini was Pope from August 19, 1458 until his death in 1464. Pius II was born at Corsignano in the Sienese territory of a noble but decayed family...

 held the Council of Mantua
Council of Mantua (1459)
The Council of Mantua of 1459, or Congress of Mantua, was a religious meeting convoked by Pope Pius II, who had been elected to the Papacy in the previous year and was engaged in planning war against the Ottoman Turks, who had taken Constantinople in 1453...

 to proclaim a crusade against the Turks
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Under Francesco II the famous Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 painter Andrea Mantegna
Andrea Mantegna
Andrea Mantegna was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son in law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g., by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality...

 worked in Mantua as court painter, producing some of his most outstanding works.

The first Duke of Mantua was Federico II Gonzaga, who acquired the title from Emperor Charles V in 1530. Federico commissioned Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano was an Italian painter and architect. A pupil of Raphael, his stylistic deviations from high Renaissance classicism help define the 16th-century style known as Mannerism...

 to build the famous Palazzo Te, on the periphery of the city, and profoundly improved the city. In the late 16th century Claudio Monteverdi
Claudio Monteverdi
Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi – 29 November 1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, and singer.Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the transition from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two individual styles of composition – the...

 came to Mantua from his native Cremona. He worked for the court of Vincenzo I Gonzaga, first as a singer and violist, then as music director, marrying the court singer Claudia Cattaneo in 1599.

In 1627, the direct line of the Gonzaga family came to an end with the vicious and weak Vincenzo II, and the town slowly declined under the new rulers, the Gonzaga-Nevers
Nevers
Nevers is a commune in – and the administrative capital of – the Nièvre department in the Bourgogne region in central France...

, a cadet French branch of the family. The War of the Mantuan Succession
War of the Mantuan Succession
The War of the Mantuan Succession was a peripheral part of the Thirty Years' War. Its casus belli was the extinction of the direct male line of the House of Gonzaga in December 1627. Brothers Francesco IV , Ferdinando and Vincenzo II , the last three dukes of Gonzaga, had all died leaving no...

 broke out, and in 1630 an Imperial
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 army of 36,000 Landsknecht
Landsknecht
Landsknechte were European, predominantly German mercenary pikemen and supporting foot soldiers from the late 15th to the late 16th century, and achieved the reputation for being the universal mercenary of Early modern Europe.-Etymology:The term is from German, Land "land, country" + Knecht...

 mercenaries besieged Mantua, bringing the plague with them. Mantua never recovered from this disaster. Ferdinand Carlo IV
Charles IV, Duke of Mantua
Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga was the only child of Duke Charles II of Mantua and Montferrat, and the last ruler of the Duchy of Mantua of the House of Gonzaga.-Biography:...

, an inept ruler whose only interest was in holding parties and theatrical shows, allied with France in the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

. After the latter's defeat, he took refuge in Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, carrying with him a thousand pictures. At his death, in 1708, he was declared deposed and his family lost Mantua forever in favour of the Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

s of Austria.

Under Austrian rule, Mantua enjoyed a revival and during this period the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts, the Scientific Theatre, and numerous palaces were built.

On June 4, 1796, during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, Mantua was besieged by Napoleon as a move against Austria, who joined the First Coalition
First Coalition
The War of the First Coalition was the first major effort of multiple European monarchies to contain Revolutionary France. France declared war on the Habsburg monarchy of Austria on 20 April 1792, and the Kingdom of Prussia joined the Austrian side a few weeks later.These powers initiated a series...

. Austrian and Russian attempts to break the siege failed, but spread the French thin enough that the siege could be abandoned on 31 July so other battles could be fought. The siege resumed on August 24. In early February the city surrendered and the region came under French administration. Two years later, in 1799, the city was retaken
Siege of Mantua (1799)
The Siege of Mantua was a four-month effort by the Austrian army to regain a presence in northern Italy after being excluded from that region by Napoleon Bonaparte through the successful French Siege of Mantua in 1797...

 by the Austrians.

Later, the city again passed into Napoleon's control. In the year 1810 by Porta Giulia, a gate of the town at Borgo di Porto (Cittadella), Andreas Hofer
Andreas Hofer
Andreas Hofer was a Tirolean innkeeper and patriot. He was the leader of a rebellion against Napoleon's forces....

 was shot; he had led the insurrection in the County of Tyrol
County of Tyrol
The County of Tyrol, Princely County from 1504, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1814 a province of the Austrian Empire and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

 against Napoleon.

After the brief period of French rule, Mantua returned to Austria in 1814, becoming one of the Quadrilatero
Quadrilatero
The Quadrilatero is the traditional name of a defensive system of the Austrian Empire in the Lombardy-Venetia, which connected the fortresses of Peschiera, Mantua, Legnago and Verona between the Mincio, the Po and Adige Rivers...

 fortress cities in northern Italy. Agitation against Austria culminated in a revolt which lasted from 1851 to 1855, and was finally suppressed by the Austrian army. One of the most famous episodes of the Italian Risorgimento took place in the valley of Belfiore, when a group of rebels was hanged by the Austrians.

In 1866, Mantua was incorporated in the united Italy
Italian unification
Italian unification was the political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century...

 by the king of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

.

Main sights



The Gonzagas protected the arts and culture, and were hosts to several important artists such as Leone Battista Alberti
Leone Battista Alberti
Leon Battista Alberti was an Italian author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher, cryptographer and general Renaissance humanist polymath...

, Andrea Mantegna
Andrea Mantegna
Andrea Mantegna was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son in law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g., by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality...

, Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano was an Italian painter and architect. A pupil of Raphael, his stylistic deviations from high Renaissance classicism help define the 16th-century style known as Mannerism...

, Donatello
Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

, Peter Paul Rubens, Pisanello
Pisanello
Pisanello , known professionally as Antonio di Puccio Pisano or Antonio di Puccio da Cereto, also erroneously called Vittore Pisano by Giorgio Vasari, was one of the most distinguished painters of the early Italian Renaissance and Quattrocento...

, Domenico Fetti
Domenico Fetti
Domenico Fetti was an Italian Baroque painter active mainly in Rome, Mantua and Venice.-Biography:...

, Luca Fancelli
Luca Fancelli
Luca Fancelli was an Italian architect and sculptor.-Biography:Fancelli was born in Settignano, a fraction of Florence...

 and Nicolò Sebregondi. Though many of the masterworks have been dispersed, the cultural value of Mantua is nonetheless outstanding, with many of Mantua's patrician and ecclesiastical buildings being uniquely important examples of Italian architecture.

Main landmarks include:
  • The Palazzo Te (1525–1535), a creation of Giulio Romano
    Giulio Romano
    Giulio Romano was an Italian painter and architect. A pupil of Raphael, his stylistic deviations from high Renaissance classicism help define the 16th-century style known as Mannerism...

     (who lived in Mantua in his final years) in the mature Renaissance
    Renaissance
    The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

     style, with some hints of a post-Raphaelian mannerism
    Mannerism
    Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe...

    . It was the summer residential villa of Frederick II of Gonzaga. It hosts the Museo Civico (with the donations of Arnoldo Mondadori
    Arnoldo Mondadori
    Arnoldo Mondadori was a noted Italian publisher.Mondadori was born at Poggio Rusco, Mantua and died in Milan.His publishing house is today the largest in Italy.-External links:*...

    , one of the most important Italian publishers, and Ugo Sissa, a Mantuan architect who worked in Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

     from where he brought back important Mesopotamia
    Mesopotamia
    Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

    n artworks)
  • The Palazzo Ducale
    Palazzo Ducale di Mantova
    The Palazzo Ducale di Mantova is a group of buildings in Mantua, Lombardy, northern Italy, built between the 14th and the 17th century mainly by the noble family of Gonzaga as their royal residence in the capital of their Duchy. The buildings are connected by corridors and galleries and are...

    , famous residence of the Gonzaga family, made up of a number of buildings, courtyards and gardens gathered around the Palazzo del Capitano, the Magna Domus, and the Castle of St. George.
  • The Basilica of Sant'Andrea
    Basilica di Sant'Andrea di Mantova
    The Basilica concattedrale di Sant'Andrea is a Renaissance roman catholic church and minor basilica in Mantua, Lombardy .Commissioned by Ludovico II Gonzaga, the church was begun in 1462 according to designs by Leon Battista Alberti on a site occupied by a Benedictine monastery, of which the bell...

  • The Duomo Cathedral
  • The Rotonda di San Lorenzo
    Rotonda di San Lorenzo
    The Rotonda di San Lorenzo is a religious building in Mantua, Lombardy .It is the most ancient church in the city, having been built during the reign of the Canossa family in the late 11th century. Inspired by the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem and dedicated to the martyr St...

  • The Bibiena Theater
  • The church of San Sebastiano
    San Sebastiano (Mantua)
    San Sebastiano is an Early Renaissance church in Mantua, northern Italy.Begun in 1460 according to the designs of Leon Battista Alberti, it was left partially completed in the mid 1470s, by which time construction had slowed and was no longer being directed by Alberti...

  • The Palazzo Vescovile ("Bishops Palace")
  • The Palazzo degli Uberti
  • The Torre della Gabbia ("Cage Tower")
  • The Palazzo del Podestà which hosts the museum of Tazio Nuvolari
    Tazio Nuvolari
    Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari was an Italian motorcycle and racecar driver, known as Il Mantovano Volante or Nivola. He was the 1932 European Champion in Grand Prix motor racing...

  • The Palazzo della Ragione with the Torre dell'Orologio ("Clock Tower")
  • The Palazzo Castiglioni Bonacolsi
  • The Palazzo Valenti Gonzaga, an example of Baroque architecture and decoration, with frescoes attributed to Flemish painter Frans Geffels. The façade of the palace was designed by Nicolò Sebregondi.

Transport


Mantua lies across the route from Milan-Codogno
Codogno
Codogno is a town and comune in the province of Lodi, Lombardy, Italy. It received the honorary title of city with a presidential decree on June 26, 1955....

-Cremona
Cremona
Cremona is a city and comune in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po River in the middle of the Pianura Padana . It is the capital of the province of Cremona and the seat of the local City and Province governments...

-Mantua-Verona
Verona
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

. By car, it can be reached on the A4 (Milan-Venice) Highway to Verona, and from there Highway A22 (Brennero-Modena). Otherwise, by State road 415 (Milan-Cremona) to Cremona, and from there State road 10 (Cremona-Mantova).

Mantova railway station
Mantova railway station
Mantova railway station, or Mantua railway station , serves the city and comune of Mantua, in the region of Lombardy, northern Italy...

, opened in 1873, forms part of the Verona–Mantua–Modena railway, and is a terminus of two secondary railways, linking Mantua with Cremona and Monselice, respectively. Until 1967, it was also a terminus of the Mantua–Peschiera del Garda railway.

The closest airport is Verona-Villafranca.

Miscellany

  • An annual survey of Legambiente (an ecologist movement of Italy) in 2005 declared Mantua the most 'liveable' city of the country. The study was based on levels of pollution, quality of life, traffic, and public transport, among other criteria. http://www.corriere.it/english/articoli/2005/11_Novembre/22/mantova.shtml
  • The body of Saint Longinus, twice recovered and lost, was asserted to have been found once more at Mantua in 1304, together with the Holy Sponge stained with Christ's blood.
  • In William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

    's play Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

    , Romeo spends his period of exile — his punishment for killing Tybalt
    Tybalt
    Tybalt is a fictional character and the main antagonist in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. He is Lady Capulet's nephew, Juliet's hot-tempered cousin and Romeo's rival. Tybalt shares the same name as the character Tibert/Tybalt the "Prince of Cats" in Reynard the Fox, a point of...

    — in Mantua. Also, in Shakespeare's play Taming of the Shrew, the schoolmaster who pretends to be Lucentio's father, Vincentio, is from this city.
  • Giuseppe Verdi
    Giuseppe Verdi
    Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century...

    's opera Rigoletto
    Rigoletto
    Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851...

    (based on Victor Hugo
    Victor Hugo
    Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

    's play Le roi s'amuse
    Le roi s'amuse
    Le roi s'amuse is a play written by Victor Hugo in 1832. While it depicts the escapades of Francis I of France, censors of the time believed that it also contained insulting references to King Louis-Philippe and banned it after one performance...

    ) is set in Mantua. Austro-Hungarian authorities in Venice
    Venice
    Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

     forced him to move the action from France to Mantua.
  • Since 1997 Mantua has hosted the Festivaletteratura
    Festivaletteratura
    Festivaletteratura is a literary fair, held in Mantua, Italy, since 1997. Its peculiar formula is to host five days of small-sized lectures by authors from all over the world. The event is run mostly by volunteers, numbering around 700 in total. The lectures are hosted in historical places and...

    , one of the most renowned literary events in Europe.
  • In 2007 the remains of two people were discovered during the construction of a factory. The remains are thought to be between 5,000 and 6,000 years old. It is speculated that the remains are of two young lovers because the two skeletons appear to be embracing. http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=29&ContentID=20853

Namesakes


As with many European cities, Mantua has been the inspiration for the names of many other settlements, including:

Canada
Mantua, a village in West Hants, Nova Scotia
West Hants, Nova Scotia
West Hants is a municipal district in Hants County, Nova Scotia.It occupies the western half of Hants County, running from the Minas Basin to the boundary with Halifax County, sharing this boundary with the East Hants municipal district....



U.S.A.
Mantua, Ohio
Mantua, Ohio
Mantua is a village in Portage County, Ohio, United States. It was formed from portions of Mantua Township in the Connecticut Western Reserve. The population was 1,046 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

, Mantua, Utah
Mantua, Utah
Mantua is a town in eastern Box Elder County, Utah, United States. The population was 687 at the 2010 census. Mantua was settled in the mid-19th Century when future LDS President and then apostle and head church authority in Box Elder County Lorenzo Snow sent settlers to the valley to grow flax....

, Mantua, New Jersey, Mantua, Virginia
Mantua, Virginia
Mantua is a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. Mantua is a bedroom community serving as a suburb to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Most of the homes in Mantua were built between the 1950s and the 1980s...

,
the Mantua district of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

, the village of Mantua in Baltimore County, Maryland
Baltimore County, Maryland
Baltimore County is a county located in the northern part of the US state of Maryland. In 2010, its population was 805,029. It is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Its county seat is Towson. The name of the county was derived from the barony of the Proprietor of the Maryland...

, the hamlet of Mantua (sometimed spelled Manatua) in Greene County, Alabama
Greene County, Alabama
Greene County is the least populous county in the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island. As of 2010 the population was 9,045...

, and a location in Monroe County, Iowa
Monroe County, Iowa
-2010 census:The 2010 census recorded a population of 7,970 in the county, with a population density of . There were 3,884 housing units, of which 3,213 were occupied.-2000 census:...

.

Cuba
Mantua
Mantua, Cuba
Mantua is a municipality and city in the Pinar del Río Province of Cuba.It was founded in 1719 under the name Guane del Norte. In 1866 it was established as a municipality...

, a municipality and city in the Pinar del Río Province of Cuba.

Twin cities



Azuchi
Azuchi, Shiga
was a town located in Gamō District, Shiga, Japan.As of 2003, the town had an estimated population of 12,217 and a density of 502.76 persons per km². The total area was 24.30 km²....

, Japan, 2005 Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

, United States, 2001 Weingarten
Weingarten (Württemberg)
Weingarten is a town with a population of 24,000 in Württemberg, in the District of Ravensburg, in the valley of the Schussen River. Together with the southern neighbour cities of Ravensburg and Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance , it forms one of 14 medium-sized infrastructural centres in...

, Germany, 1998 Pushkin
Pushkin (town)
Pushkin is a municipal town in Pushkinsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located south from the center of St. Petersburg proper, and its train station, Detskoye Selo, is directly connected by railway to the Vitebsky Rail Terminal of the city...

, Russia, 1993 Charleville-Mézières
Charleville-Mézières
Charleville-Mézières is a commune in northern France, capital of the Ardennes department in the Champagne-Ardenne region. Charleville-Mézières is located on the banks of the Meuse River.-History:...

, France, 1963
Nevers
Nevers
Nevers is a commune in – and the administrative capital of – the Nièvre department in the Bourgogne region in central France...

, France, 1963 Hyderabad, India Oradea
Oradea
Oradea is the capital city of Bihor County, in the Crișana region of north-western Romania. The city has a population of 204,477, according to the 2009 estimates. The wider Oradea metropolitan area has a total population of 245,832.-Geography:...

, Romania Vitória, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...



Famous citizens

  • Virgil
    Virgil
    Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

     (70 BCE–19 BCE), a classical Roman poet.
  • Sordello
    Sordello
    Sordello da Goito or Sordel de Goit was a 13th-century Lombard troubadour, born in the municipality of Goito in the province of Mantua...

     or Sordel, a 13th-century Lombard
    Lombardy
    Lombardy is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe...

     troubadour
    Troubadour
    A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....

    , born in the municipality of Goito
    Goito
    Goito is a comune of Lombardy, Italy, in the Province of Mantua, from which it is some 20 km, on the road to Brescia. It is situated on the right bank of the Mincio River near the bridge.-History:...

     in the province of Mantua.
  • Pietro Pomponazzi
    Pietro Pomponazzi
    Pietro Pomponazzi was an Italian philosopher. He is sometimes known by his Latin name, Petrus Pomponatius.-Biography:...

     (1462–1525), an Italian philosopher. He is sometimes known by his Latin name, Petrus Pomponatius.
  • Giovanni Battista Bertani
    Giovanni Battista Bertani
    Giovanni Battista Bertani was an Italian painter of the Renaissance period. He trained with Giulio Romano in Mantua. His brother Domenico Bertani also painted in Mantua. He was active in 1568.-References:...

     (1516–1576), architect.
  • Leone de' Sommi
    Leone de' Sommi
    Leone de' Sommi was an Italian Hebrew dramatista....

     (c. 1525–c. 1590), theater director and writer.
  • Claudio Monteverdi
    Claudio Monteverdi
    Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi – 29 November 1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, and singer.Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the transition from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two individual styles of composition – the...

     (c. 1567-1643), composer.
  • Giuseppe Sarto (1835–1914), appointed Bishop
    Bishop
    A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

     in 1884 before he became Pope Pius X in 1903.
  • Alberto Jori
    Alberto Jori
    Alberto Jori is an Italian Neo-Aristotelian philosopher.Born in Mantua, he studied in Padua, Cambridge and Heidelberg. In 2003 he won with his book on Aristotle the Prize of the Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences - International Academy of the History of Science...

    , neo-aristotelian philosopher.
  • Franca Sozzani
    Franca Sozzani
    Franca Sozzani is an Italian journalist and the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia since 1988.Franca has been at the forefront of Fashion since the beginning of her career. Sozzani started her career at Vogue Bambini and directed legendary publications LEI since 1980 and PER LUI since 1982 before...

    , editor-in-chief at Vogue Italia
    Vogue Italia
    Vogue Italia is the Italian edition of Vogue magazine. Owned by Condé Nast International, it is the least commercial of all editions of Vogue magazine and has been called the top fashion magazine in the world....

     was born here.

See also

  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Mantova
  • Tazio Nuvolari
    Tazio Nuvolari
    Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari was an Italian motorcycle and racecar driver, known as Il Mantovano Volante or Nivola. He was the 1932 European Champion in Grand Prix motor racing...

    "The flying Mantuan" World famous racing Driver. There is a museum dedicated to his exploits.

External links