Mantova is the capital city of Lombardy province, surrounded by artificial lakes. About 3 hours ride from bologna but like what the poet Torquato Tasso wrote in 1586: “This is a very beautiful city and one worth travelling a thousand miles to see”.
Due to our packed schedule, we can only spent a few hours in this city, and most of the time we were hanging in Palazzo Ducale – the palace that held numerous collection of art works in its compounds. Palazzo Ducale built between the 14th and 17th century by the noble family of Gozaga as their royal residence. the palace, is made up of numerous building linked together by broad corridors and magnificent galleries and embellished with internal courtyards and extensive gardens. It was sad that I cannot show any of them here cause photograph is strictly prohibited. The collections, including paintings, statues, and the architecture of the palace itself are really impressive and 2 hours is definitely too short to digest them all especially for me, hardly have enough knowledge of western art history.
Another important piece of architecture in the city is the Basilica di Sant’Andrea – the famous Renaissance church design by Leon Battista Alberti. What unique about this church is the facade, built abutting a pre-existing bell tower. The notable design of this church is its symmetrical placed archway and the integration of giant order, symbol of classical or to be more precise the renaissance architecture. Unfortunately, the church was under restoration. Visit was not possible and because part of the church was covered in canvas so I can’t get a clean shot of the building itself either.
Spent some free time in the city for lunch before we rush to our next station. Time was too little to actually get to know the city more. A bit regret, but let’s hope that I will have the chance to visit the city again.
Our next destination is Fondazione Magnani Rocca. A villa that inaugurated as an art museum in 1990. Besides its own collection, the villa also an ideal place to held high level temporary exhibition. We were lucky enough to visit the futurism exhibition held at that time. The visit gave us another insight of the development of Italy art movement in early 20th century. Besides the museum, the villa also own a wonderful century-old English garden which is really great to have a walk around after the museum tour.