Where to go for a day trip from Milan? Last year we went to Liguria to eat a delicious focaccia in Camogli, another time in Sirmione on the lake and, a few months ago, we spent a beautiful day in Mantua.
Stupidly we had never considered it as a possible destination and instead we had to change our mind, it’s a very beautiful city and it’s full of culture, sure enough it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Sabbioneta. In some ways it seems like a city frozen in time, as can be seen from these images:
We started the visit from Palazzo Te, where you can admire the skill of Giulio Romano, Raphael’s best pupil. For all the practical info on timetables, rates, and how to reach Palazzo Te, click here! The Chamber of the Giants is amazing, but as well as all the monumental rooms of this building, you will have the stiff neck by dint of looking up to find every little hidden detail!
After the visit to Palazzo Te, we walked towards the center of the city, we admired the architecture of churches and arcades and we headed to the Castle of San Giorgio, where perhaps the most famous work of Mantua is located: the Bridal Chamber painted by Mantegna. You have to take the ticket at Palazzo Ducale for visiting the museum sections Corte Vecchia (Old Court), Camera degli Sposi (the Bridal Chamber), Castello di San Giorgio (Saint George Castle), Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archeological Museum). INFO HERE
Check carefully the opening hours of each section because one part can only be visited before lunch and another one in the afternoon, so when you arrive at the ticket office ask for it!
For lunch we ate cold cuts and cheeses:
In the afternoon we then visited the Archaeological Museum included in the ticket and we were very impressed by the embrace of these two skeletons:
Unfortunately we weren’t there during the blooming period of the lotus flowers that fill Lake Superior, but if you go in July / August find out about the blooming, it must be amazing! In any case, it is worth going to visit this city at any time of the year, and even if you are not an art lover, because you will get lost in the historic alleys and look at every old shop. If you have time, also visit the city of Sabbioneta to see the famous Olympic Theater.