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Things to do in

Mantua

Our most recommended things to do in Mantua

Verona: Highlights and Panorama Bike Tour

1. Verona: Highlights and Panorama Bike Tour

Join a bike tour to see Verona, considered the most romantic Italian city thanks to the fascination of one of the most important of Shakespeare’s plays, Romeo and Juliet. As you cycle, imagine the beautiful history and fiction of this city. Reach Piazza Bra, the largest piazza in all of Verona. See the Verona Arena, a Roman amphitheater built around 30 A.D. Cycle through Piazza Erbe and its open-air market, Piazzale Castel San Pietro and the beautiful San Zeno basilica. From Brà Molinari, enjoy an amazing view of the city's river and hills. After stopping in front of the Duomo and crossing the ancient Roman arch bridge Ponte Pietra, prepare your legs: you'll leave your bikes for a little while to climb up to Castel San Pietro by a panoramic staircase. Climb 231 steps to a viewpoint of Verona's skyline. Rest assured: you will be highly rewarded for your small effort by the spectacular ruins of the Roman Theatre and by a breathtaking view of Verona. Halfway up the panoramic stairway, you'll also stop to admire the view of the Roman Theatre ruins.

Mantua: Guided Walking Tour

2. Mantua: Guided Walking Tour

Discover the historic center of Mantua on a guided walking tour. Learn about the history and culture of this UNESCO World Heritage site, and hear stories of the Gonzaga family who designed it. Explore the highlights of this beautiful city, as well as its hidden gems. Your tour starts from the courtyards of Palazzo Ducale, and passes through Saint Giorgio Castle and Casa del Rigoletto. Wander down ancient streets and admire the most important sights, including Piazza Erbe and the Clock Tower. The tour ends by the Basilica di Sant’Andrea.

From Lake Garda: Verona Full-Day Tour

3. From Lake Garda: Verona Full-Day Tour

Discover one of the jewels of the Italian Renaissance on a full-day tour to the romantic city of Verona. Choose from multiple departure points in Lake Garda and travel in comfort by air-conditioned coach. Take a short walk into the city center on arrival and see one of the best-preserved monuments of the Roman Empire at the Arena, still used for concerts today. Continue to Piazza dei Signori and Piazza Erbe before going to Juliet's House to look at the balcony where Romeo declared his eternal love for Juliet in Shakespeare’s tragedy. Learn more about how the city has developed over the centuries and discover artistic elements from different periods, including the medieval Castelvecchio and the tombs of the Scaligeri family at the church of Santa Maria Antica. Admire the Roman bridge over the Adige River and more. Then, get some free time to stroll down Via Mazzini and browse the local and high street shops before the return journey to Lake Garda.

Mantua: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour

4. Mantua: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Discover the birthplace of Virgil, the city where Shakespeare’s Romeo took refuge, and the setting for Verdi’s dramatic opera, “Rigoletto” on a 2-hour guided walk of Mantua. Surrounded by 3 small lakes, Mantua rises magically from the waters of the River Mincio, and the lakes and medieval canal of the "Rio." Learn how water and earth are interwoven to form the character of the town in public squares and at churches that only locals know. Start at the Casa di Rigoletto, chosen by the wealthy Gonzaga family as the residence of the legendary fool in Verdi’s opera. Continue to the Castle of St. George (San Giorgio) and the ducal palace of the Palazzo Ducale di Mantova. Marvel at public spaces of outstanding interest, such as Piazza Castello, Piazza Santa Barbara, and Piazza Lega Lombarda. Admire the façade of the ducal palace on Piazza Sordello. Then, go to Mantua Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Peter. Marvel at the facing Palazzo Bonacolsi, before going to Piazza Broletto to see the medieval palaces of the Palazzo del Podesta, Palazzo del Massaro, and Arengario. Next, visit Piazza dell Erbe to look at the Astronomical Clock Tower and the palaces of the Palazzo Cervetta and Palazzo della Ragione. See the imposing church of the Rotonda di San Lorenzo (Mantua’s oldest religious building). Admire the massive dome and Renaissance exterior of the Basilica of Sant'Andrea, and continue to Piazza Leon Battista Alberti to see the former cloister of Sant'Andrea Monastery. On request, you can also visit the beautiful Bibiena Theater where Mozart played when he was only 13 years old, and with an extraordinary auditorium designed in the late Baroque or early Rococo style by Antonio Galli Bibiena.

Verona Full-Day Tour from Lake Garda

5. Verona Full-Day Tour from Lake Garda

Enjoy a full-day tour of Verona, with round-trip transfers from a host of locations in Lake Garda, including Limone, Lazise and Riva del Garda. Travel by air-conditioned coach and see lights like the Square of Lords and Juliet's House.  Following a comfortable transfer, explore Verona which has developed progressively for over 2,000 years. Admire artistic elements of the highest quality from different periods, including the ever-present contributions of the Scaligeri family. Take a short walk into the city center, where a local guide will take you to the Verona Arena. See one of the finest Roman theaters still in use in existence anywhere in the world. Continue to the Square of Lords (Piazza dei Signori) and Square of Herbs (Piazza Erbe), before going to Juliet's House to see messages of love written by visitors from around the world. Go to the Castelvecchio and see the tombs of the Scala family (Arche Scaligere). Look at the Ponte Pietra, a Roman arch bridge that spans the Adige River. Have free time for some retail therapy on one of the most elegant streets in Italy. Stroll down the Via Mazzini and window shop (or max out your credit cards) before your return transfer to Lake Garda.

Mantova City Center and Ducal Palace: 3-Hour Guided Tour

6. Mantova City Center and Ducal Palace: 3-Hour Guided Tour

Surrounded by 3 small lakes, Mantova rises almost magically from the waters. The relationship between Mantua and water is a very close one: the Mincio River, the lakes and the medieval canal known as Rio are all entwined in Mantovan traditions. On a 3-hour walking tour in the city center you’ll discover how water and earth are unexpectedly interwoven. See stunning buildings, squares and churches. Learn about the importance of the Gongaza family in fine art and how they transformed their home into what is today the largest museum in Italy. The Ducal Palace was built between the 14th and the 17th centuries as the family’s royal residence in the capital of their duchy. The buildings are connected by corridors and galleries and feature inner courts and gardens. The complex includes about a thousand rooms and occupies an area of 34,000 square meters. Although most famous for Mantegna's frescos in the Camera degli Sposi (Wedding Room), there are many other very significant architectural and painted elements. Visit Rigoletto's House, see the exterior of the Saint George Castle and visit Piazza Castello, Piazza Santa Barbara and Piazza lega Lombarda. At Piazza Sordello you’ll have views of the Ducal Palace façade, the Cathedral, Vicolo Bonacolsi, Piazza Broletto with the medieval Palazzo del Podesta and Palazzo del Massaro and Arengario. Piazza delle Erbe is surrounded by the Palazzo della Ragione, the Clock Tower and the Saint Lorenzo Church. See the façade of the Merchant's House, Piazza Mantegna with the Basilica of Sant'Andrea built by Leon Battista Alberti and Piazza Leon Battista Alberti with the former cloister of the Sant'Andrea Monastery. No entrance tickets are needed on this city center tour, unless you’d like to visit the beautiful Bibiena Theatre where Mozart played when he was 13 years old (entrance €2). Churches close at noon and re-open at 15.00. During services entrance to visit churches is not permitted. For the Ducal Palace the entrance fee is €13. The Castle and Ducal Palace limit entrance to groups not larger than 25 people. For larger groups additional guides are needed and bookings are required in advance. On the first Sunday of every month, entrance to the Ducal Palace is free of charge, but cannot be booked in advance. As only 1,500 people per day can enter the room painted by Mantegna, on these special Sundays it may be impossible to enter that particular room.

Mantua: St. George's Castle & Ducal Palace Private Tour

7. Mantua: St. George's Castle & Ducal Palace Private Tour

The origins of Mantua date back to the Etruscan time, when Mantua was a god of Hades. The great Latin poet Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro 70-10 B.C.) was born here. Visiting Mantua, walking along the old town heart is like stepping back in time. During this 2.5-hour walking tour, your expert local guide will take you to discover two of the most important building in Mantua: the Castle of St. George and the Ducal Palace. Let's start from the first one. St. George's Castle is the first historical building that welcomes the visitors as they enter the town of Mantua. Built by Francesco Gonzaga between 1395 and 1406 on the project by Bartolino da Novara, the castle was originally meant for the defense of the city, and then it became a residence of the family. After a renovation required by the marquis Ludovico II Gonzaga in 1459, the castle lost its original defensive role and became one of the most important examples of the Italian Renaissance when Andrea Mantegna painted the famous Camera degli Sposi (The Bridal Chamber). After your visit of the castle, walk to the most representative square or Mantua, Piazza Sordello, where your visit inside the Ducal Palace will start. The palace represents the main residence of the Gonzaga family, lords, marquises and finally, the dukes of the city. Under the Austrian domination with Maria Teresa of Austria, it was called Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace). Interestingly, the palace was built in different times starting from the 13th-century, first by the Bonacolsis and then by the Gonzagas. Many different parts, buildings, courts and gardens compose the palace, which you will have the chance to get to know and admire through this guided walking tour. Get ready to experience Mantua in a way you wouldn't expect. One final tip: you might want to bring along your camera.

Mantua: 2-Hour Private Walking Tour w/ a Local Guide

8. Mantua: 2-Hour Private Walking Tour w/ a Local Guide

The origins of Mantua date back to the Etruscan times, when Mantua was a god of Hades. The great Latin poet Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro 70-10 B.C.) was born here. Visiting Mantua, walking along the old town heart is like stepping back in time. Taking part in this private walking tour led by an expert local guide, you will have the chance to explore downtown Mantua and get to know its history, the most important monuments, palaces and squares which represent the real soul of the town. You will see St. George's Castle, built by Francesco Gonzaga between 1395 and 1406, which became one of the most important examples of the Italian Renaissance when Andrea Mantegna painted the famous Camera degli Sposi (The Bridal Chamber). Your guide will take you to visit Piazza Sordello, the main and most ancient nucleus of Mantua. This is where the town was born and this square still represents the most important place in town, with its cathedral (Duomo di Mantiva), Palazzo Ducale and the other palaces dating back to the Middle Ages. Amongst the other attractions, you will also see Piazza delle Erbe (The Herbs Square), which represents the main marketplace in town since the Middle Ages. It also still hosts part of the weekly market on Thursdays. Here, you can admire the beautiful Palazzo della Ragione (the Palace of Justice) and the oldest church in town, called La Rotonda, that was built back in 1082. Ready for a tour which will leave you with a sense of astonishment and new fascinating knowledge? One final tip: you might want to bring along your camera.

Verona: Romeo and Juliet Self-Guided Audio Tour

9. Verona: Romeo and Juliet Self-Guided Audio Tour

Discover the timeless city of Verona at your own pace with self-guided tour on a smartphone app. Save your data with offline access to maps, auido content, and geodata. Uncover the romance of Romeo and Juliet's houses, see an ancient arena, and a Scala family palace.  Download the tour and head to the starting point in central Verona. See the cobbled streets where the love story of Romeo and Juliet was set. Leave the busy shopping streets and travel back in time, along the oldest Roman road in northern Italy.  View facades of its Roman and Medieval buildings where 2,000 years of history are reflected. Witness how the old has been recycled into new. Trace the shoreline of the Adige River taking in grand squares and picturesque alleyways.  Get tips on where to find the best Veronese cuisine along the way to see an ancient arena where gladiators came to fight, the grand Erbe Square, the Pietra bridge, a Roman Theatre, and a Roman Theater.  Catch a glimpse of intrigue as you see the palace of the powerful, medieval Scala family, as well as their private chapel and cemetery. Have the freedom to pause and resume the tour whenever you wish. Explore from home with the option to take the tour virtually.

Mantova: Private Walking Tour

10. Mantova: Private Walking Tour

After gathering in front of the entrance of the Captain's Palace in Piazza Sordello, your private Mantua sightseeing tour will kick off. This little-known city is a breathtaking jewel that boasts magnificent buildings. It is also home to splendid squares and charming alleys lined with arcades and graceful houses. Mantua is small but spectacular and is surrounded by a beautiful natural environment where art, nature, cultural heritage, excellent food, and a good overall lifestyle make life sweeter. You will see St. George's Castle, built by Francesco Gonzaga between 1395 and 1406, which became one of the most important examples of the Italian Renaissance when Andrea Mantegna painted the famous Camera degli Sposi. Your guide will then take you to visit Piazza Sordello, the main and most ancient nucleus of Mantua. This is where the town was born, and this square still represents the most important place in town, with its Duomo di Mantiva cathedral, Palazzo Ducale, and the other palaces which date back to the Middle Ages. Among the other attractions, you will also see Piazza delle Erbe, which has been the main marketplace in town since the Middle Ages.

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What people are saying about Mantua

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 155 reviews

The trip to Verona went smoothly, the guide was very nice and took good care of all participants. We were in town around 10:30 am. Before and after the city tour through the old town (optional, included in the price) you had enough free time to explore the city on your own.

This tour should be done first. You can see great corners of Verona that you might never have seen. You can also find small, typically Italian restaurants along the way.

Verona is an incredibly beautiful city that you should definitely visit if you are on holiday on Lake Garda.

Pleasant and quick bus ride. Very informative and nice guide. Well planned. I can recommend everyone

Great introduction to Verona via bike. Danielle was wonderful! Highly recommend.