Italy in Photos
Photos of Italy taken on Walks in the Cities Towns & Villages of Italia
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Welcome to Italy in Photos, where we invite you to embark on a journey through the enchanting city of Mantova,: – Mantova, also known as Mantua, is a city located in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of the same name. The city is situated on the banks of the river Mincio, which flows from Lake Garda to the Adriatic Sea. Mantova is surrounded on three sides by artificial lakes, created during the 12th century as the city’s defence system. These lakes receive water from the Mincio River, a tributary of the Po River which descends from Lake Garda. The three lakes are called Lago Superiore, Lago di Mezzo, and Lago Inferiore (Upper, Middle, and Lower Lakes, respectively). A fourth lake, Lake Pajolo, which once served as a defensive water ring around the city, dried up at the end of the 18th century. It is a city steeped in history and culture. It was founded in the 6th century BC as an Etruscan village and has since been ruled by various powers, including the Romans, the Lombards, and the Gonzaga family. The city’s historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family has made it one of the main artistic, cultural, and especially musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country. Having one of the most splendid courts of Europe of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and early seventeenth centuries. Mantova is noted for its significant role in the history of opera; the city is also known for its architectural treasures and artifacts, elegant palaces, and the medieval and Renaissance cityscape. It is the city where the composer Monteverdi premiered his opera L’Orfeo and to where Romeo was banished in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. It is the nearest town to the birthplace of the Roman poet Virgil, who is commemorated by a statue at the lakeside park “Piazza Virgiliana”. In 2016, Mantova was designated as the Italian Capital of Culture. In 2017, it was named as the European Capital of Gastronomy, included in the Eastern Lombardy District (together with the cities of Bergamo, Brescia, and Cremona). Mantova’s centro storico (old town) and Sabbioneta were declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site in 2008. The area and its environs are important not only in naturalistic terms, but also anthropologically and historically; research has highlighted several human settlements scattered between Barche di Solferino and Bande di Cavriana, Castellaro and Isolone del Mincio. These dated, without interruption, from Neolithic times (5th–4th millennium BC) to the Bronze Age (2nd–1st millennium BC) and the Gallic phases (2nd–1st centuries BC), and ended with Roman residential settlements, which could be traced to the 3rd century AD. Mantova is a beautiful, historic city in northern Italy and was one of the greatest Renaissance Courts in Europe and home of the wealthy Gonzaga family. The town’s centre is three spacious and lively squares that join together. The city is also known for its delicious cuisine, including pumpkin-filled tortelli, risotto alla pilota, and sbrisolona, a crumbly cake made with almonds. Mantova is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, art, music, and gastronomy.
Vicolo Ospitale is a street in Mantova which runs from Piazzetta Pino Pinelli to Piazza S. Leonardo. (Photo 1) – Piazza S. Leonardo is a small square in Manotva and is home to the Chiesa di San Leonardo. The Chiesa di San Leonardo is one of the oldest churches in Mantova, Italy. It was founded in the 6th century and has undergone several renovations over the centuries. It has traces of Romanesque and Gothic styles in its bell tower and chapel. It also houses some notable artworks, such as a fresco by Lorenzo Costa the Elder and a painting by Lorenzo Costa the Younger. (Photos 2-3-4-5) – Vicolo Voltino is a street in Mantova which runs from Piazza S. Leonardo to Via Trento (Photo 6) – Via Trento is a street in Mantova which runs from Porta Mulina to Piazza Virgiliana, (Photos 8-9) – Via Dario Tassoni is a street in Mantova which runs from Via Trento to Via Trento. (Photo 10) – Via Giovanni Arrivabene is a street in Mantova which runs from Via Camillo Benso Cavour to Piazza Felice Cavallotti. (Photos 11-12) – Piazza Matilde di Canossa is a square in Mantova, Italy, named after the famous countess Matilde of Canossa, who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries. The square is dominated by the Palazzo Canossa, a baroque building with a decorated facade and a portal guarded by two mastiffs. It is also home to the Chiesa dei Santi Simone e Giuda which is one of the oldest churches in Mantova. It was founded before the year 1000 and rebuilt in the late 14th century. It has a Romanesque bell tower and a Gothic chapel. It also contains some paintings and frescoes by Lorenzo Costa the Elder and the Younger. The composer Claudio Monteverdi married and baptized his son in this church. (Photos 13-14-15) – Via Luigi Pastro is a street in Mantova which runs from Piazza Matilde di Canossar to Via della Mainolda. (Photo 16) – Via Giuseppe Verdi is a street in Mantova which runs from Via Domenico Fernelli to Piazza Andrea Mantegna. (Photos 17-18) – Piazza Andrea Mantegna is a square in Mantova, named after the famous painter Andrea Mantegna, who lived and worked in the city in the 15th century. The square is the site of the Basilica of Sant’Andrea is a Roman Catholic co-cathedral and minor basilica in Mantova. It is one of the major works of 15th-century Renaissance architecture in Northern Italy, designed by Leon Battista Alberti and commissioned by Ludovico III Gonzaga. The basilica has a large dome, a façade inspired by the Arch of Trajan, and a vaulted roof. It also houses two sacred vessels that contain earth soaked in the blood of Christ, according to Christian tradition. (Photos 19-20-21-22-23-24)
Piazza Erbe is one of the main squares of Mantova, dating back to the 12th century. It was the administrative and commercial centre of the city during the medieval period. It is surrounded by several notable buildings, such as: – Palazzo del Podestà, a Gothic palace that was the seat of the local government. – Palazzo della Ragione, a Renaissance palace that housed the court of justice and the city council. – Torre dell’Orologio, a tower with a clock and an astronomical device that shows the phases of the moon and the zodiac signs. – Rotonda di San Lorenzo, a Romanesque church that was built by Matilde di Canossa and inspired by the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. – Casa del Mercante, a house decorated with terracotta sculptures and Gothic windows, belonging to a merchant named Giovan Boniforte da Concorezzo. – Casa della Cervetta, a house with a facade featuring a deer’s head, symbolizing the Gonzaga family. (Photos 24-26-27) – Piazza Broletto is an historic square in Mantua, located between Piazza Sordello and Piazza Erbe. It was the centre of public life in the 13th century, when the city was a commune. (Photo 28) – Piazza Sordello is a large square in Mantua, named after the 13th-century poet Sordello da Goito. It was the centre of political, social, and religious life in Mantova for centuries. It is surrounded by historical buildings, such as the Palazzo Ducale, the Cattedrale di San Pietro Apostolo, and the Casa di Rigoletto. You can also see the remains of a Roman domus with mosaic floors in the south-east corner of the square. (Photos 29-30-31-32-36-39) – Giardini di Piazza Lega Lombarda is a public park in Mantua, Italy, located behind the Palazzo del Capitano. It was formerly a square named after the Lombard League, a medieval alliance of northern Italian cities that opposed the Holy Roman Empire. It is connected to Piazza Sordello, the main square of Mantua, by a passage through the Palazzo del Capitano. (Photo 33) – Piazzetta S. Barbara is in Mantova and is known for the Basilica Palatina di Santa Barbara, the Palatine Chapel of the House of Gonzaga. The Basilica was commissioned by Duke Guglielmo and built between 1562 and 1572 by Giovan Battista Bertani. The Basilica was designed to be a place of rich liturgical ceremonies, accompanied by sacred music at the highest level. The Basilica houses a famous organ built in 1565 by Graziadio Antegnati. The area in front of Santa Barbara was given a proper form by Bernardo Facciotto in 1581 and underwent significant changes in 1780 when Paolo Pozzo added the botteghe for the annual fair. The Basilica’s bell tower, crowned by a small round temple, is one of the most characteristic elements of Mantua’s urban landscape. (Photos 34-35) – Piazza Castello, also known as Prato di Castello, is one of the most significant squares in the historical center of Mantova. The square is located inside the Ducal Palace, adjacent to the imposing Castello di San Giorgio, and is accessed from Piazza Sordello through a monumental entrance resembling a triumphal arch, frescoed on the inside, work of the architect Antonio Maria Viani. Piazza Castello was built in the 16th century by the architect Giovanni Battista Bertani, a pupil of Giulio Romano. Bertani was promoted after Romano’s death to the post of prefect of the ducal studio (chief architect) of the Gonzagas, a position he held between 1549 and 15762. The square is the largest open space inside the Palazzo Ducale complex and is surrounded on three sides by elegant late 16th-century arcades, probably designed by Bertani, decorated with frescoed festoons of flowers and fruit. Besides the monumental entrance, Antonio Maria Viani is responsible also for the exedra in front of it, once the entrance to the St. Giorgio’s Castle. On the western side of the square, the only one without arcades, are the rooms of the ancient chancellery. To the south of the square, there is a passage that makes the connection with Piazza Santa Barbara, where the palatine Church of Santa Barbara is located. (Photos 36-37) – Via S. Giorgio is a street in Mantova which runs from Piazza Sordello to the Strada Provinciale 10. (Photos 40-41-48) – Lungolago, 46100 Mantova (Photos 42-43) Strada Provinciale 10 (Photo 44) – Via Legnago is a street in Mantova which runs from Ponte di San Giorgio to theoutskirts of the city. (Photos 45-46-47)
Mantova Cuisine: – Mantova’s cuisine is influenced by the history and geography of the region. It is known for its use of pumpkin, rice, salami, cheese, and freshwater fish. Some of the most famous dishes are: – Tortelli di zucca: – egg pasta stuffed with boiled pumpkin, parmesan cheese, mustard, nutmeg, and amaretti. This is a sweet and savory dish that is often eaten on Christmas Eve. – Risotto alla pilota: – rice cooked with salamella, a type of pork sausage. This is a hearty and simple dish that originated from the rice workers of the Po valley. – Luccio in salsa: – boiled pike fish served with a sauce made of capers, parsley, anchovies, garlic, and onion. This is a delicate and aromatic dish that dates to the Middle Ages. -Mantova’s cuisine is also famous for its desserts, such as sbrisolona, a crumbly cake made of flour, butter, sugar, almonds, and lemon zest.
Photo Gallery of Walk 1 in Mantua – Vicolo Ospitale to Via S. Giorgio
Approximately 0.95 km – 0.59 miles
The walk starts in Vicolo Ospitale – Chiesa di San Leonardo, Piazza S. Leonardo – Via Alessandro Cavriani – Via Trento – Via Dario Tassoni – Via Giovanni Arrivabene – Via Domenico Fernelli – Piazza Matilde di Canossa – Chiesa della Madonna del Terremoto, Piazza Matilde di Canossa – Via Giuseppe Verdi – Piazza Andrea Mantegna – Basilica di Sant’Andrea, Piazza Andrea Mantegna – Piazza Andrea Mantegna
Photo Gallery of Walk 2 in Mantua – Piazza Erbe to Via S. Giorgi
Approximately 1.99 km – 1.24 miles
The walk starts in Piazza Erbe – Piazza Broletto – Piazza Sordello Giardini di Piazza Lega Lombarda – Piazza Giovanni Paccagnini – Piazzetta S. Barbara – Basilica Palatina di Santa Barbara, Piazzetta S. Barbara, – Piazza Castello – Piazza Sordello – Via S. Giorgio – Lungolago – Via Legnago – walk back along Via Legnago to Lungolago Gonzaga – walk back along Lungolago Gonzaga to Via S. Giorgio