What to see in Mantua in one day

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Between history and nature, in Lombardy, a truly fascinating city rises: Mantua. Surrounded by three lakes, rich in monuments and Renaissance castles, it has numerous works of art linked to the Gonzagas, in short, Mantua has something for everyone!
If you have decided to visit her you will not be disappointed, but be prepared for long walks because you have many things to see!
Mantua is perfect for a day trip, just know how to get around and follow some other simple advice.


  1. One day itinerary in Mantua: Morning
  2. One day itinerary in Mantua: Afternoon
  3. One day itinerary in Mantua: Evening
  4. User questions and comments

One day itinerary in Mantua: Morning

1 - Doge's Palace

Once in Mantua and reached the center, start your day with a rich and tasty breakfast at the "Bar Venezia Caffè Letterario", in an excellent position close to what you are going to visit, it will offer you a wide choice of pastry products in addition to the most classic pairing coffee and croissants, at a modest price of about € 5,00 per person.
After you have recharged, walk towards the Doge's Palace which is only 5 minutes away. This is the main monument of the city as it was the official residence of the Gonzaga family, and visiting it you will admire the splendid frescoes by Mantegna and Pisanello.
To visit everything will take you 2 hours 30 minutes, as the visit also includes Corte Vecchia, Corte Nuova, Camera degli Sposi and Castle of San Giorgio. Keep in mind that to visit the Camera degli Sposi it is necessary to book.

2 - Diocesan Museum "Francesco Gonzaga"

After your visit to the Ducal Palace, stay on the Gonzaga family theme by visiting the "Francesco Gonzaga" Diocesan Museum, in Piazza Virgiliana, 5 minutes away from the Ducal Palace. In this museum it will take you about 1 hour and you will observe masterpieces of painting, goldsmith works, and a large collection of Renaissance armor.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 850 m / 10 min
  • Places visited: Palazzo Ducale, Corte Vecchia, Corte Nuova, Camera degli Sposi, Castle of San Giorgio (single ticket from € 12,00) Diocesan Museum "Francesco Gonzaga" (€ 10,00)
  • Guided tour of the city center and the Doge's Palace
  • Where to have breakfast: Bar Venezia Caffè Letterario, Piazza Guglielmo Marconi 10. Get directions

One day itinerary in Mantua: Afternoon

1 - Walk from the Duomo to Piazza delle Erbe

Immediately outside the Diocesan Museum you will find the restaurant-pizzeria "Al Quadrato and Residenza Cà Mazzini", where you can stop for lunch and enjoy fish and meat specialties, but also excellent pizzas, for a average price of € 20,00 per person.
Continue your tour of Mantua by heading towards Piazza delle Erbe, one of the main squares of the city. During your walk of about 10 minutes you will cross the Duomo, the Bishop's Palace, the Torre della Gabbia and the Palazzo Podestà. Once in this large square you will find the Rotonda di San Lorenzo and the Clock Tower.

2 - Palazzo Te and Palazzo d'Arco Museum

From Piazza delle Erbe, walk towards Palazzo Te, which you will reach in about 15 minutes. Visit the Palace by dedicating it 2 hours of your time, during which you will cross the rooms admiring the structure, the frescoes by Giulio Romani, and the graffiti dating back to the sixteenth century.
From Palazzo Te, walk for another twenty minutes towards the Palazzo d'Arco Museum. Here spend 1 hour in the residence of the nobles of Arco, visiting the perfectly intact environments that contain the life of the family who lived there.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,8 km / 48 min
  • Places visited: Duomo (free), Palazzo Vescovile (free), Torre della Gabbia (free), Palazzo Podestà (free), Piazza delle Erbe (free), Rotonda di San Lorenzo (free), Torre dell'Orologio (free), Palazzo Te (€ 12,00), Palazzo d'Arco Museum (€ 7,00).
  • "Sleeping Beauty" walking tour
  • Where to have lunch: Ristorante Pizzeria al Quadrato, Piazza Virgiliana 49. Get directions

One day itinerary in Mantua: Evening

1 - Dinner

It's time for dinner and you are at the Palazzo d'Arco Museum. Take Via Domenico Fernelli and in 2 minutes you will reach a typical Mantuan restaurant, the "Tortelli & Friends", where you will dine with fresh homemade pasta and local local cuisine. For a great dinner you will spend an average of € 20,00 per person.

2 - Piazza Vergiliana

After dinner, take a last walk. Even tired, it will be worth it! From the restaurant, walk along Via Virgilio and in just 5 minutes you will be in Piazza Virgiliana. Enjoy the evening walking through the gardens of this wonderful square, among statues and fountains immersed in an enchanting atmosphere.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 650 m / 8 min
  • Places visited: Piazza Vergiliana (free)
  • Where to dine: Tortelli & Friends, Via Domenico Fernelli 28. Get directions

Before leaving: useful tips

  • Il best time for a visit in Mantua it is from March to September, excluding July and August due to the too sultry and humid heat.
  • For reach Mantua, in addition to trains, buses, or even boats that cross the Mincio, you can also count on the various airports nearby, such as Verona, Brescia, Parma and Bergamo.
  • As soon as you arrive, go to the tourist office and buy the Mantua Sabbioneta Card, costs € 20,00 for adults and € 8,00 for families and you will get significant discounts on entrance tickets to museums and monuments, on tourist guides and river excursions, and also includes urban transport and service bike.
  • Mantua is so practical that you won't necessarily need the means to get around, so if you choose to spend your day walking, remember comfortable clothes and shoes and start enjoying the city!
  • If you decide to extend your visit, take a look at ours offers for a stay in hotels and b & b.

What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

To avoid the river excursion on one of the three lakes of Mantua. A boat trip is certainly pleasant, but it can take up to half a day, so if you only have 24 hours to visit Mantua, it is better to focus on the strengths that characterize it, such as the art and beauty of the Renaissance monuments.

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