Things to do in Mantova

About Mantova

The Ducal Palace, with its spectacular rooms and priceless artworks, is a must-see destination. Not to be missed is the Palazzo Te, renowned for its frescoes by Giulio Romano. Lastly, the Basilica of Sant’Andrea, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, is essential for every itinerary.
Visit the fun-filled Mantova Railway Museum or take a scenic boat tour around Lake Mantova. The interactive exhibits at the Palazzo Te are also perfect for sparking the imagination of young minds.
Explore the idyllic Parco del Mincio by bike or on foot, enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the Mincio River, or engage in a guided nature walk through the lush surroundings.
Indulge in the arts at Teatro Bibiena, discover the rich history at the Museo di Palazzo Ducale, or marvel at the intricate tapestries at the Museum of Tapestries and Textiles.
The best Mantova tours include the Ducal Palace and Gardens Tour, the Palazzo Te and San Sebastiano Tour, and the Mantova Historic Center Walk.
Popular museums include the Palazzo Ducale Museum, the Palazzo Te Museum, and the Mantegna House, each offering unique insights into Mantova's rich artistic legacy.
On rainy days, indoor tours of the Ducal Palace and the Palazzo Te provide a dry and educational refuge, as does a visit to the culturally rich Bibiena Scientific Theatre.
Short tours in Mantova include the Rotonda di San Lorenzo Visit, a Quick Walk Through Piazza delle Erbe, and the Ducal Palace Express Tour, each offering a snapshot of the city's charm.

Best Things to Do In Mantova

Embark on a journey to discover Mantova's rich heritage. Unfold the city's remarkable tapestry of art, culture, and history.

Mantova: Teatro Bibiena

What is it?
An intimate and ornately decorated baroque theatre inaugurated by Mozart.
Why you should go?
Teatro Bibiena, with its splendidly frescoed interior and perfect acoustics, is a hidden jewel amongst Mantova's cultural sites. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful small theatres in the world, it awes visitors with its intricate design and historical significance. Its small, yet grand, ambience provides an unmatched setting for concerts, operas, and performances. Experiencing an event here is considered one of the best Mantova activities, transporting you back to the days of its auspicious opening by a young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1770.

Mantova: Castello di San Giorgio

What is it?
A medieval fortress and part of the Ducal Palace complex, famed for its frescoes and defense architecture.
Why you should go?
Castello di San Giorgio is a significant piece of Mantova's historical puzzle. Its Camera degli Sposi, decorated with Andrea Mantegna's frescoes, is a masterpiece that exemplifies the artistic grandeur of the best Mantova tours. A visit to the castle is not just an exploration of fortified architecture but an immersion into the narrative of Mantova's past. The imposing towers and battlements against the beautiful lakes create a picturesque scene, eagerly waiting to be explored by history enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Mantova: Casa del Mantegna

What is it?
The house-studio of Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna, showcasing his life and works.
Why you should go?
Casa del Mantegna opens a window onto the life of one of the most significant artists of the 15th century. This cultural site offers an intimate glimpse into the environment that influenced Mantegna's seminal works. For art lovers and historians, it presents rare insight into the fusion of artistic space and personal living quarters, making it a top pick for those exploring the best Mantova tours. The preserved frescoes and architectural detail also make it a valuable experience for anyone intrigued by the city's rich art heritage.

Mantova: Parco del Mincio

What is it?
A natural park surrounding the Mincio River, offering scenic landscapes and outdoor activities.
Why you should go?
Parco del Mincio serves as a peaceful escape from the urban life of Mantova, featuring lush greenery and abundant wildlife. The park's diverse ecosystems make it ideal for recreational Mantova excursions like cycling, birdwatching, or simply enjoying a leisurely picnic. Its picturesque waterways, countryside charm, and dedicated eco-tours offer a refreshing counterpoint to the architectural wonders of the city, placing it firmly on the list of fun things to do in Mantova for nature and sports enthusiasts.

Mantova: Museo di Palazzo Ducale

What is it?
An extensive museum within the Ducal Palace, showcasing a vast collection of Renaissance art and artifacts.
Why you should go?
The Museo di Palazzo Ducale is considered a treasure trove for those seeking a comprehensive insight into Mantova's illustrious history and art. With an extensive array of exhibits ranging from Gonzaga family portraits to precious tapestries and period furniture, the museum forms an essential part of what to see in Mantova. Visitors can indulge in the splendor of the Renaissance era, with each hall and gallery narrating different facets of the city's and region's rich cultural narrative, making it a must-visit for any culture connoisseur.

Mantova: The Ducal Palace

What is it?
A historic royal residence and an extensive museum complex in the heart of the city.
Why you should go?
The Ducal Palace, once the seat of the Gonzaga family, stands as a symbol of Mantova's grandeur. Visitors can traverse through lush gardens, exquisite courtyards, and over 500 rooms rich with Renaissance frescoes and art. With its intricate tapestry of history, architecture, and culture, the Ducal Palace encapsulates the best things to do in Mantova, offering an unrivaled glimpse into the past glories of Italian nobility and the flourishing artistic landscape of the Renaissance era.

Mantova: Basilica of Sant'Andrea

What is it?
One of the prime examples of Renaissance architecture, this basilica is a religious and artistic landmark.
Why you should go?
The Basilica of Sant'Andrea is renowned for its breathtaking architecture and holds the sacred relics of Christ's Passion, making it an essential Mantova activity for both devotees and art lovers. The grandeur of its vaults and the harmony of its proportions offer an awe-inspiring experience. It stands as a testament to Leon Battista Alberti's genius, inviting people worldwide to engage with Mantova's spiritual and architectural legacy.

Mantova: Palazzo Te

What is it?
A 16th-century palace, famous for its exquisite frescoes and Mannerist style.
Why you should go?
Constructed as a leisure residence for Federico II Gonzaga, Palazzo Te is a masterpiece of Giulio Romano. The palace encapsulates the Mannerist charm that is unique to Mantova tours. Its elaborate frescoes, especially the Room of the Giants, represent a fantastical escape and are a cultural phenomenon. Palazzo Te is an unforgettable insertion into what to see in Mantova, casting a spell of mythical proportions on its visitors.

Mantova: Rotonda di San Lorenzo

What is it?
The oldest church in Mantova, dating back to the 11th century, featuring circular architecture.
Why you should go?
Older than the city's most celebrated squares, the Rotonda di San Lorenzo is a mystic gem and one of the most significant ecclesiastical structures in the region. Hidden beneath Piazza Erbe, it offers a journey back in time with its intriguing circular layout and Byzantine influences. A visit here is among the best Mantova tours for those looking to uncover the historical layers and religious milestones of this enchanting city.

Mantova: Piazza delle Erbe

What is it?
The vibrant main square of Mantova, surrounded by historic buildings and bustling cafes.
Why you should go?
Piazza delle Erbe serves as the nerve center of Mantovan life, a place where history, commerce, and local culture intertwine effortlessly. Framed by the magnificent Palazzo della Ragione and the ornate Clock Tower, the square remains a focal point of things to do in Mantova. From the colorful market to the lively outdoor cafes, the square encapsulates the essence of Mantovan spirit, making it irresistible for visitors desiring an authentic experience of city life.

TOP-5 tours in Mantova for first time visitors

  • Explore the Ducal Palace: Delve into the opulent halls and intimate chambers of one of Mantova’s foremost places to visit, where art and history meet.
  • Navigate the Lake Mantova: Immerse in natural beauty by taking a leisurely tour around the tranquil waters, one of the fun things to do in Mantova.
  • Meander through Palazzo Te: This architectural marvel offers insights into Mantova’s Renaissance flair and is a pinnacle of things to see in Mantova.
  • Discover Mantova’s Squares: Traverse the storied piazzas that have witnessed centuries of trade, culture, and vibrant Mantova activities.
  • Savor Mantova's Cuisine: Indulge in a gastronomic adventure; it’s what to do in Mantova when cultural exploration awakens your appetite.

Fun things to do in Mantova with kids

Mantova offers a charming adventure for families seeking an enriching and entertaining experience. Start with the Mantova Railway Museum (Museo Ferroviario di Mantova), where the allure of vintage trains captivates the curious minds of youngsters, making learning about the history of rail transport a dynamic activity. Engage in interactive exhibits and marvel at miniature train models, ensuring a delightful outing. The next stop for a memorable family day is Palazzo Te. Though famous for its intricate frescoes and grandeur, it also hosts family-friendly events and workshops that encourage creativity among its younger visitors. Lastly, indulge in an enchanting boat excursion on the scenic lakes surrounding the city. This aquatic journey not only provides panoramic views of Mantova's skyline but also offers a chance to spot local wildlife, turning a simple boat ride into an exciting exploration. Each attraction is not just an inclusion in Mantova excursions but serves as an opportunity to create lasting family memories in the heart of this Italian jewel.

Things to do in Mantova with family

Delve into the heart of Northern Italy with a visit to Mantova, a splendid destination teeming with activities for the whole family. Begin your adventure at the sprawling Ducal Palace, a complex of buildings and gardens that was once home to the noble Gonzaga family. Through a blend of self-guided audio tours, hear the whispers of history as you and your family explore the lush gardens and magnificent halls adorned with Renaissance art. Not far from there, the Palazzo Te awaits, inviting families to marvel at its mythological frescoes and participate in interactive exhibits that bring Mantovan history to life. For those looking for a touch of nature, the Mincio River Park provides a serene backdrop perfect for family picnics, cycling, or leisurely boat tours. It's a place where children can play freely while adults soak in the tranquil beauty of Mantova's natural landscapes. Each family-friendly attraction in Mantova promises to enrich your visit with culture, history, and recreation, solidifying Mantova's reputation as an ideal family holiday destination.

Free things to do in Mantova

Mantova, a gem in Italy's Lombardy region, offers an array of complimentary attractions that delight culture and nature enthusiasts alike. Stroll through the heart of Mantova to Piazza Sordello, the main square lined with impressive medieval structures. It's an open-air museum narrating centuries-old stories, ideal for a leisurely walk while admiring the historic facades and Mantova Cathedral's intricate beauty. Onward to the serene paths of Parco del Mincio, a lush riverside park offering picturesque views and a tranquil escape into nature's embrace. Trails meander through the park, perfect for a family bike ride or bird-watching excursion. Lastly, bask in the lively atmosphere of Piazza delle Erbe. This engaging social hub is ringed by majestic buildings, such as the Rotonda di San Lorenzo, and hosts a vibrant market where the pulse of local life can be felt. Each attraction represents a facet of what to do in Mantova without spending a dime, ensuring a rich cultural experience.

Cheap things to do in Mantova

Embracing the rich cultural tapestry of Mantova doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. For an affordable entry fee, the Bibiena Scientific Theatre offers an enchanting visual and historical treat. This hidden gem, where a young Mozart once performed, is a testament to baroque beauty and acoustic perfection, promising an enriching experience for all ages. Art enthusiasts can find great value in a visit to the Francesco Gonzaga Diocesan Museum, home to an impressive collection of religious artworks and artifacts that tell the dynamic story of Mantova's ecclesiastical history. The museum's modest entry fee includes access to temporary exhibitions, making it a worthwhile addition to Mantova excursions. Lastly, enjoy the city's vibrant atmosphere at the seasonal farmers' markets. A stroll through the bustling stalls offers a colorful exploration of local produce and handcrafted goods, encapsulating the spirit of Mantova at little to no cost. Each venue offers insightful, yet economical, activities, securing Mantova's status as a destination for budget-friendly adventures.

Things to do in Mantova for couples

Romance flourishes in Mantova, making it an idyllic destination for couples. Begin with a serene boat tour along the meandering Mincio River. Glide past historic buildings and lush vegetation, sharing the tranquil beauty of this watercourse with your significant other—a truly romantic Mantova activity. For an artistic date, the exquisite frescoes of Palazzo Ducale offer a backdrop of grandeur and elegance. Couples can wander through the opulent halls and secret gardens, delving into the artistic legacy of the Gonzaga family. As evening descends, Piazza Broletto, with its historic charm and intimate cafes, provides a picturesque setting. Indulge in delectable Lombard cuisine at a cozy trattoria, or simply enjoy a gelato while marveling at the surrounding architecture bathed in the soft golden hues of sunset. Each attraction evokes a sense of intimacy and allure, ensuring Mantova remains etched in the hearts of those in love.

Things to do in Mantova at night

As dusk falls, Mantova transforms into an enchanting scene with attractions that take on a new life after dark. Toast to an evening of cultural immersion at the Teatro Sociale, where an array of performances from operas to concerts can be enjoyed in a historically rich setting. The theatre's Neoclassical architecture and opulent interior provide a perfect night out for arts enthusiasts. Strolling along the floodlit streets, couples can absorb the city's nocturnal ambiance at Piazza delle Erbe. The vibrant square is home to lively bars and bistros, ideal for savoring local wines and culinary specialties under the stars. For those seeking tranquility, the lakeside promenade inspires quiet reflection or romantic walks, with the gentle sounds of lapping water and the soft glow of street lamps guiding your way. Mantova's nightlife offers both the allure of vibrant social spots and the serene beauty of its illuminated landmarks, creating memorable experiences for every visitor.