Mantua, birthplace of the poet Virgil, has more than two thousand years of history. Of Etruscan origin, Mantua enjoyed an important development in the Middle Ages, but it was the Gonzaga family, starting from the fourteenth century, that gave a strong cultural and artistic impetus to the city, outlining the current urban structure and architecture.
During the four centuries of their rule, they hosted at court some of the most illustrious artists of the time such as Leon Battista Alberti, Pianello, Montegna, Giulio Romano, Rubens and others, whose works still characterize the city in all its splendour. Evidence of this are some of the most emblematic examples of architecture and art of the Renaissance: the Museum complex of Palazzo Ducale with the Castle of San Giorgio which holds Andrea Mantegna’s Camera degli Sposi; the suburban villa of Palazzo Te, an absolute masterpiece by Giulio Romano, with the extraordinary Room of the Falling Giants and the Hall of Cupid and Psyche, and among the churches, the Basilica of Sant’Andrea, designed by Leon Battista Alberti and the Palatine Basilica of Santa Barbara.
After the fall of the Gonzaga family, the city enjoyed a great cultural development during the eighteenth century, as evidenced by the Scientific Teatre by Bibiena, the Municipal “Teresiana” Library and Palazzo d’Arco. In Mantua history and ancient art interact constantly with modern and creative languages and this allows the visitor to be the protagonist of a unique cultural experience.