Leonardo da Vinci: 10 tips for visiting the exhibition in London (also without a booked ticket)

We had a break from our professional activities, and we spent some days in London, acting as tourists and not as guides. We have been able to visit the amazing exhibition "Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan". Although all the bookable tickets are sold out since the very first day, we have been able to buy some of the 500 daily tickets sold by the National Gallery.
VisitMantua is now happy to share with its readers these ten tips, to help you in planning your visit (and your queue too) to this extraordinary exhibition.

1 -  Queue early.
Although the exhibition opens at 10am, the queue starts earlier. You should be at the gate about 7am.

2 - Find the right gate.
The exhibition is in the Sainsbury Wing, which has several entrances. The queue for the visitor without a booked ticket is at eastern gate. Let’s stand in the right line!

3 - Manage your resources.
Each person can purchase up to three tickets. If you are a small group, you should choose the most eligible members in resisting to the cold, or you can plan queuing shifts.

4 - Make it comfortable.
In the path of the queue, there are no benches or other seats (low walls, steps etc.). Bring a pillow inside a large plastic bag, so that you can sit on the floor and preserve your energies for the exhibition. You can then leave your pillow in the bag at the cloakroom.

5 - Have breakfast.
If you are queuing with other mates, shift with short breaks to drink something hot: there are several cafes in the area. In addition, about 8.30, the National Gallery will put a cart with hot drinks and pastries near the queue.

6 - Pass the time.
Have at your fingertips a book or a magazine. About mid-morning the staff of the National Gallery will provide you with the exhibition guide, with captions of all the paintings on show. And have a chat with the other people in the line: you are there for the same reason, so you surely have something in common.

7 - Check the time.
Daily tickets are issued with entry slots. So, although you have stayed in line all morning, you may have tickets for the afternoon. Check the admission time on the tickets, because you are not allowed to visit the exhibition prior to your turn.

8 - Recharge your energies.
If your ticket is for an afternoon entrance, take the opportunity to get some rest . You'll need almost two hours to visit the exhibition. So, avoid to do it tired both physically and mentally.

9 - Undress yourself.
Deposit coats, scarves, etc. in the cloakroom: the exhibition is very hot.

10 - Follow the order.
Watch the introductory video. Then move to the exhibition rooms following the numbers of the works on show. If you can not get close enough to read the captions, just remember they are all listed in the booklet they gave when you were still queuing. And - finally - remember that the last section of the exhibition, dedicated to the Last Supper, is located in another part of the Gallery. Follow the directions to get there and have on hand your ticket, you will be asked again for it.

And, least but not last... enjoy it!

Like a Virgil, seen for the very first time

No other writer has had the reputation of Virgil. The celebrated author of the Aeneid, the Eclogues and the Georgics has been chosen by Dante as a guide in his Divine Comedy. Equally Virgil had a great influence on Petrarch and Boccaccio, Ariosto and Thomas Eliot, just mentioning few of the dozens of poets and writers who has been fascinated by the Mantuan classical poet. During the middle ages he was thought to be a sort of prophet, magician, tutelary deity.

An exhibition in Palazzo Te investigates the fame and the phisical features of the latin poet.
A famous mosaic found in the 1896, in which Virgil is portrayed between two Muses, will show you the most ancient surviving portrait of the Poet. For the very first time this mosaic - lent by the Bardo Museum in Tunis - is exhibited out of Tunisia.

Starting from a testimony so ancient and unattainable, the exhibition is going to follow the portraiture of Virgil amongst the different centuries: illuminated manuscripts, coins from the middleages, XVI century woodcuts.  A special section is dedicated to the monument dedicated to the memory of Virgil by the council of Mantua in 1927. On show sketches by Giuseppe Menozzi, complemented by other projects designed by other famous artists of the early twentieth century, including Duilio Cambellotti.

VIRGILIO - Volti e immagini del poeta
Mantova, Palazzo Te, 16th October 2011 – 8th January 2012
Nessun altro scrittore ha goduto della fama di Virgilio. Il celebre autore di  Eneide, Bucoliche e Georgiche è stato scelto da Dante come guida nella sua Divina Commedia. Allo stesso tempo Virgilio ha esercitato una grande influenza su Petrarca e Boccaccio, Ariosto e Thomas Eliot, solo per citare alcuni fra i poeti e gli scrittori che sono rimasti affascinati dal poeta mantovano. Durante il Medio Evo, Virgilio è stato anche visto come una sorta di profeta, mago e nume tutelare.

Una mostra
a Palazzo Te indaga la fama e le caratteristiche fisiche del poeta latino.
famoso mosaico rinvenuto nel 1896, in cui Virgilio è raffigurato tra due Muse, vi mostrerà il ritratto più antico sopravvissuto del Poeta. Per la prima volta questo mosaico - concesso in prestito dal Museo del Bardo di Tunisi - sarà esposto al difuori della Tunisia.

A partire da
una testimonianza così antica, la mostra seguirà la raffigurazione di Virgilio attraverso i diversi secoli: codici miniati, monete dal medio evo,  xilografie cinquecentesche. Una speciale sezione speciale sarà dedicata al monumento dedicato alla memoria di Virgilio dal Comune di Mantova nel 1927. I bozzetti originali di Giuseppe Menozzi saranno integrati da altri progetti disegnati da famosi artisti del primo Novecento, tra cui Duilio Cambellotti.

- Volti e Immagini del poeta
Palazzo Te, 16 ottobre 2011 - 8 Gennaio 2012

Mantegna's self portrait in the 'Camera degli Sposi'

Did you know? A self portrait of Mantegna is hidden in the frescoes of the Camera degli Sposi (a.k.a. Camera Picta and Bridal Chamber)... the painter had been paied to portray the Gonzaga family, but he was not able to resist the temptation to portray also himself in his stunning masterpiece. So he decided to hide his own portrait in one of the painted trompe-l'oeil friezes on the pillars... when visiting the Camera degli Sposi don't miss this detail!
Want to know more? Contact us and discover through our professional services the people, the stories and the art, who made Mantua one of the capitals of the Renaissance.


The blockbuster movie "Sex and the City" contains an accidental 'cameo appearance' of one of the frescoes by Giulio Romano, from Palazzo Te in Mantua. A detail of the "Bath of Mars and Venus", in fact, appears in the scene of the rehearsal dinner. The set of the movie scene is the restaurant Buddakan, in New York. In one of its rooms, a big replica of this fresco is hanging. You can recognize it behind Miranda, when Samantha tells her about the arrival of Steve.
Clearly, this is not an intentional homage: actually the replica of the fresco belongs to the forniture of the Buddakan. But, anyway, the sensual art of Giulio Romano has a strong connection with the sexy topics of "Sex and the City". And - sure - Giulio Romano would be very happy, knowing his works of art are still so sensual even after centuries!
VisitMantua offers you a privileged view of some of the most stunning nudes from the frescoes by Giulio... enjoy the show!


Il film campione d'incassi "Sex and the City", contiene un 'cammeo' di uno degli affreschi di Giulio Romano, da Palazzo Te, Mantova. Un particolare del "Bagno di Marte e Venere", infatti, appare nella scena della ‘Cena della prova’. La scena è ambientata nel ristorante Buddakan di New York, dove, in una delle stanze, è appesa una grande replica di questo affresco. La si può riconoscere dietro a Miranda, nella scena in cui Samantha la informa dell'arrivo di Steve.
Chiaramente non si tratta di omaggio intenzionale: la replica della affresco, infatti, fa parte degli usuali arredi del Buddakan. Ma, comunque, l'arte sensuale di Giulio Romano ha un forte legame con i temi piccanti di "Sex and the City". E - certo - Giulio sarebbe molto contento, nel sapere che le sue opere d'arte, anche dopo secoli, sono ancora così sensuali!
VisitMantua vi offre una vista privilegiata di alcuni dei nudi più belli dagli affreschi di Giulio ... godetevi lo spettacolo!

Mantua: one of the 100 Places In Italy Every Woman Should Go!

In the beginning was Goethe, and Goethe was travelling, and Goethe was travelling in Italy... then Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda arrived. The girls are now around, travelling all around the world, and - sure - they are using this guidebook: "100 Places In Italy Every Woman Should Go" by Susan Van Allen. Hundreds of tips for women (and, why not, for men too, because Mr Big could be with them). Among this 100 must-to-see, Susan Van Allen suggests also the Ducal Palace of Mantua, and mostly the Isabella d'Este's private rooms:

"Of all the 500 rooms in the humongous Palazzo Ducale, the two teeniest, hidden away on the ground floor, are the most enchanting. They are the grotta and the studiolo of Isabella d’Este, aka First Lady of the Renaissance. Here’s where she’d come to leave the world behind and read the classics, play her lute, or have her friends over to marvel over the paintings, antiques, and gems she’d collected..."

When planning to pay a visit to Isabella's rooms, please be aware that they are not included in the usual visitor's route within the Ducal Palace of Mantua. Visitors wishing to see them may have to ask for special permission to see them. We will be happy to help you in getting this permission. 
Contact us and discover through our professional services these beautiful and fascinating rooms.

Visita Notturna al Palazzo Ducale di Mantova

Mantova, Palazzo Ducale: al calare della notte si accendono le luci sull'arte! In occasione dei "Martedì in Arte" il giorno 30 agosto sarà possibile visitare il Palazzo Ducale di Mantova di sera. Il Museo sarà aperto gratuitamente. VisitMantua vi offre l'opportunità di scoprire la reggia dei Gonzaga con una visita guidata a prezzo speciale: soli 5 euro a persona! Non perderte questa occasione: vedrete gli splendori dei Gonzaga rifulgere nelle tenebre della notte.

IL NUMERO DEI PARTECIPANTI è LIMITATO! Prenotatevi per assicurarvi la possibilità di partecipare alla visita guidata.
Per informazioni e prenotazioni contattate: visit.mantua@gmail.com
biblioteca@comune.cavriana.mn.it | tel 0376804053

Verdi's Rigoletto and Mantua... the true story

The name of Mantua is notorious in the world for having been chosen by Verdi as the set for his Opera “Rigoletto”. Actually the plot of the opera is fictional. At very first the beginning Verdi wanted to set the musical drama in Paris, at the court Francois I, depicting the king as an immoral and cynical womanizer. The Board of Censors would never have accepted this, because it would have seen as an offense against the dignity of the European kings reigning in that period. 
So Verdi decided to move the action of the Opera from the royal court of France to the duchy of Mantua: the Gonzaga Family had long been extinct by the beginning of 18th Century, and their Dukedom did not exist anymore. So nobody could be offended. 
As soon as the Opera “Rigoletto” became a theatrical triumph, the people in Mantua started to look for real places for its fictional story. So the rectory (parsonage) of the Cathedral, located in front of the Ducal Palace, began to be named “Rigoletto's house”.
A statue of Rigoletto, the fictitious inhabitant of the house, was made by Aldo Falchi in 1978, to be set in the garden.

The “Rigoletto” was first performed at La Fenice theatre in Venice, on March 11th 1851.
In 2010 a great live performance of “Rigoletto” has been broadcasted from Mantua. The cast included Placido Domingo (as Rigoletto), Vittorio Grigolo (as the Duke of Mantua) and Julia Novikova  (as Gilda). The Music has been conducted by Zubin Mehta.

Breaking news! Rigoletto on PBS on July 15th 2011

The Worldwide Broadcast, recorded Live in High Def at the actual locations of the Opera comes to “Great Performances” on Friday, July 15th at 9:30 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).
“Great Performances” is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America's most prolific and respected public media partners.

Breaking News - Karen Essex in Mantua!

Breaking News - Karen Essex, award-winning and international renown novelist, author of the novel Leonardo's Swans is going to visit Mantua.
After telling us about the rivalries among the powerful sisters Isabella and Beatrice d'Este, is she here to research another book about Isabella?
We do hope so: we love Isabella, we love Karen's gifted pen. And - last but not least - many tourists decide to pay a visit to Mantua after reading Leonardo's Swans. A new novel by Karen Essex would make even more illustrious the name of Mantua in the world.

Ultimissime - Karen Essex, scrittrice di fama internazionale e autrice del romanzo I Cigni di Leonardo sta per recarsi in visita a Mantova.
Dopo aver raccontato il complicato rapporto fra Isabella e Beatrice d’Este, che stia ora per scrivere un nuovo romanzo su Isabella? 
Ce lo auguriamo: amiamo tanto Isabella quanto la brillante scrittura di Karen Essex. E, inoltre, non pochi turisti decidono di visitare Mantova dopo aver letto I Cigni di Leonardo. Un nuovo romanzo di Karen potrebbe contribuire a rendere ancora più illustre il nome di Mantova nel mondo.

Palazzo Ducale: al calare della notte si accendono le luci sull'arte!

Mantova, Palazzo Ducale: al calare della notte si accendono le luci sull'arte! In occasione dei "Martedì in Arte" il giorno 28 giugno sarà possibile visitare il Palazzo Ducale di Mantova di sera. Il Museo sarà aperto gratuitamente. VisitMantua vi offre l'opportunità di scoprire la reggia dei Gonzaga con una visita guidata a prezzo speciale: soli 5 euro a persona! Non perderte questa occasione: vedrete gli splendori dei Gonzaga rifulgere nelle tenebre della notte.
Per informazioni e prenotazioni scrivete a visit.mantua@gmail.com


Mantova Creativa: New Creative Renaissance

During the past, some of the most important names in the history of art have worked in Mantua: Pisanello, Leon Battista Alberti, Andrea Mantegna, Leonardo da Vinci, Giulio Romano and Rubens. 
In the next weekend (10-12 June) a New Creative Renaissance will inhabit the old town. MantovaCreativa is going to offer 60 events, involving 100 creative studios, for 72 hours and in 40 different locations. A great chance for the encounter between art, culture and business. 
Among the firms involved in the event: Abici, Agape, Apam, Berman, Bernardelli, Bertolini Arredamenti, Bottega Scuola dell'Upa di Mantova, Bottoli Costruzioni, Bustaffa Giovanni florist, Brunoni Edili, Lubiam, Manerba Evolving Office, Medianet, Radio Bruno, San Martino, Seletti, Sigla, Tosoni, Virgili Wines, Diesis Group.

Nei secoli passati, alcuni dei nomi più illustri nella storia di arte hanno lavorato a Mantova: Pisanello, Leon Battista Alberti, Andrea Mantegna, Leonardo da Vinci, Giulio Romano e Rubens. 
Nel prossimo weekend (10-12 giugno) un Nuovo Rinascimento Creativo animerà il centro storico. La rassegna MantovaCreativa offrirà 60 eventi, coinvolgemdo 100 studi creativi per 72 ore ed in 40 location diverse. Una grande opportunità per l'incontro tra arte, cultura e business.
Fran i marchi coinvolti nella manifestazione: Abici, Agape, Apam, Berman, Bernardelli, Bertolini Arredamenti, Bottega Scuola dell'Upa di Mantova, Bottoli Costruzioni, Bustaffa Giovanni florist, Brunoni Edili, Lubiam, Manerba Evolving Office, Medianet, Radio Bruno, San Martino, Seletti, Sigla, Tosoni, Virgili Wines, Diesis Group.

Palazzo Te: Maria Callas exhibition extended for one week!

The exhibition on Maria Callas has been extended for one week. People wishing to pay a visit to the exhibition set in Palazzo Te, can do it until Sunday, June 12th. The exhibition will then move to Florence.
We'd love to point out at your attention another exhibition about the Divina: ‘Maria Callas and Swarovski – Jewels on Stage’, created in 2003 by Rinaldo Albanesi, Vice-President of Swarovski International at the time. It would have been wonderful, if they had come to Mantua too.

La mostra su Maria Callas è stata prorogata di una settimana. Le persone che desiderano visitare l'esposizione allestita a Palazzo Te, potranno farlo fino a Domenica, 12 giugno. La mostra si sposterà poi a Firenze.
Ci piacerebbe sottoporre alla vostra attenzione anche un'altra mostra dedicata alla Divina: 'Maria Callas e Swarovski - Gioielli on Stage', creata nel 2003 da Rinaldo Albanesi,
al tempo Vice-Presidente della Swarovski International. Sarebbe stato bello se anche questi gioielli avessero potuto venire a Mantova.

It's your Birthday? Free admission at the Ducal Palace in Mantova!

"Art wishes happy birthday to you!"
From 1st January 2011 the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage is offering you a complimentary entrance to the museum on the day of your birthday! Great occasion to visit the Ducal Palace in Mantua for free*!
[*only for the UE citizens]

“L’Arte ti fa gli auguri”
Dal 1° gennaio 2011 il Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali ti regala un ingresso gratuito al museo nel giorno del tuo compleanno! Una vera occasione per visitare il Palazzo Ducale di Mantova a costo zero*!
[*solo per i cittadini dell'Unione Europea]

Isabella d'Este and Francesco Gonzaga living separate lives - Dreaming of an exhibition

The Museum "Palazzo San Sebastiano" in Mantua (Italy) owns a stunning terracotta bust of Francesco II Gonzaga, by Gian Cristoforo Romano. This is one of the most important pieces of art in the collection of the Museum. Really a worth seeing masterpiece of the Renaissance Sculpture.
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth (Texas, U.S.A.) owns an equally stunning terracotta bust of a woman, thought to be Isabella d'Este, Francesco's wife. Althought the two sculptures are by the same artist and they portray two people strongly connected (husband and wife), they have never been put on display togheter. We do hope that one day - trustingly soon - Francesco and Isabella's portrait busts can finally meet in an exhibition, and stop living separate lives. Also if just for a while.

Il Museo di Palazzo San Sebastiano a Mantova possiede uno straordinario busto in terracotta di Francesco II Gonzaga, opera di Gian Cristoforo Romano. Si tratta di uno dei più importanti pezzi d'arte della collezione del Museo. Un capolavoro della scultura rinascimentale da vedere assolutamente.
Il Kimbell Art Museum di Fort Worth (Texas, USA), possiede un 
altrettanto sensazionale busto in terracotta, che si ritiene rappresenti Isabella d'Este, moglie di Francesco.  
Sebbene le due sculture siano dello stesso artista e ritraggano due persone fortemente connesse (marito e moglie), esse non sono mai state esposte insieme. 
Speriamo che un giorno - auspicabilmente non troppo lontano - i busti di Francesco e Isabella possano finalmente incontrarsi in una mostra, e smettere di vivere vite separate. Anche se solo per un po'.

Magica Italia - Mantova

Every Sunday morning at 9.30 am, RAI 1 - the national TV - broadcasts "Magica Italia - Turismo & Turisti", a programme by the Ministry of Tourism providing with reports about the nature and the beauty of Italy.
This is the episode dedicated to Mantua, broadcasted on May 15th 2011, in which we have performed as consultant.

Ogni domenica mattina, alle 9.30, va in onda su Rai 1 “Magica Italia - Turismo & Turisti”, la trasmissione del Ministero del Turismo con servizi dedicati alla natura e alle bellezze dell'Italia.
Questa la puntata dedicata a Mantova, andata in onda il 15 maggio 2011, che ci ha visto protagonisti.

Maria Callas: A Woman, a Voice, a Myth

Maria Callas: A Woman, a Voice, a Myth: a rare exhibition of the great opera singer’s costumes, jewelry and memorabilia. From 1st May to 5th June 2011, the Callas’ exhibition takes place at Palazzo Te, Mantua.
On display the stage costumes worn by the Divine to play the roles of Turandot, Rosina, Violetta Valery, Tosca and Norma. And even a valuable selection of scene jewelry. Among them deserve a special mention the necklace made ​​by Luigi Sapelli, aka Caramba (historical costume designer of the Theatre 'La Scala' in Milan) for Aida, and the stage jewelry made for La Traviata by the firm Karmer New York based on designs of Christian Dior.
A wide range of evening and concert dresses (among them some of those worn during the last world tour, between 1973 and 1974). And even clothing related to privacy of Maria Callas, created mostly by Biki, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. Foremost among these the mousseline blouse in cream cotton by Yves Saint Laurent, worn by Callas on the yacht "Christina" of Aristotle Onassis. Another memorabilia related to the Callas' holidays on the "Christina " during the '60s is a collar of gold plated with a cascade of pearls and matching earrings.
In the marvellous Sala dei Giganti of the Palazzo Te, is displayed the costume used by Placido Domingo in Rigoletto, staged in Mantua in a worldwide telecast production (2010). The costume is exhibited togheter with the jester’s stick donated by Tito Gobbi to Maria Callas in 1955 and used in the first ever production of Rigoletto, at La Fenice in 1851.
Don't miss the occasion to meet - at the same time! - the magnificence of the Italian Art and the memories of one of the most iconic voices in the History of Opera. So contact us and make your guided tour a visit to be remembered!

Maria Callas: una donna, una voce, un mito: l'esposizione dedicata a costumi, gioielli e oggetti appartenuti alla grande cantante d'Opera è allestita a Palazzo Te, Mantova, dal 1 Maggio al 5 giugno 2011.
In mostra i costumi di scena indossati dalla Divina per vestire i panni di Turandot, Rosina, Violetta Valery, Tosca e Norma. E ancora una selezione di preziosi gioielli di scena. Tra questi meritano una menzione speciale la collana realizzata da Luigi Sapelli, in arte Caramba (storico costumista del Teatro 'La Scala' di Milano) per l'
Aida, e i gioielli di scena realizzati per La Traviata dalla ditta Karmer New York su disegni di Christian Dior.
E ancora un'ampia scelta di abiti da sera e da concerto (tra i quali alcuni di quelli indossati durante l'ultimo tour mondiale, tra il 1973 e 1974). E anche abiti legati alla vita privata di Maria Callas, realizzati per lo più da Biki, Christian Dior e Yves Saint Laurent. Primo fra questi la camicetta in mussola di cotone color crema di Yves Saint Laurent, indossato da Maria Callas sullo yacht "Christina" di Aristotele Onassis. Un altro cimelio legato alle vacanze della Callas sul "Christina" durante gli anni '60 è una collana in metallo dorato con una cascata di perle e orecchini coordinati.
Nella splendida Sala dei Giganti di Palazzo Te, è invece esposto il costume utilizzato da Placido Domingo nel
Rigoletto, trasmesso in diretta in mondovisione da Mantova nel 2010. Insieme al costume è esposto il bastone del giullare donato da Tito Gobbi a Maria Callas nel 1955, e utilizzato per la prima assoluta del Rigoletto, alla Fenice, nel 1851.
Non perdete l'occasione di incontrare - al tempo stesso! - la magnificenza dell'arte italiana ed il ricordo di una delle voci più rappresentative della storia dell'Opera. Contattateci e rendete la vostra visita guidata un'esperienza da ricordare!

Let us introduce you to... the real Mantuan stallions!

The largest room of the Palazzo Te - the only whom ancient sources define "hall" instead of "chamber" - celebrates in its decoration the horses once belonging to Federico II Gonzaga, lord of Mantua and owner of the building.
The presence of these animals is very significant: according to Giorgio Vasari, Giulio Romano built the Palazzo in "a place with some stables, called the Te, standing in the middle of a meadow, in which he [Federico] kept his stud of horses and mares".
Vasari informs us also that the construction work has been carried out "without destroying the old walls".
Recent surveys have shown how actually the entire north wing of the Te, where the Hall of the Horses is, is the result of the reworking of an existing structure. So the frescoes designed by Giulio Romano celebrate the previous 'inhabitants' of this space.
Painted on the walls of the room six magnificent thoroughbred horses, large almost natural, are proudly displayed. Some of them with well known names: Morel Favorito (i.e. "Black Favorite") and Dario ("Darius") are in fact still accompanied by inscriptions recalling the identity. For two other horses - Glorioso and Battaglia (i.e. "Glorious" and "Battle") - the names are preserved in sixteenth-century engravings, which show the ancient features of the room. The names of the remaining two horses are still unknown.

Wish to know more? Contact us, come to Mantua and discover, through our professional services, stories, places and artistic treasures, like this one.

L’ambiente più ampio di Palazzo Te, l’unico definito nelle fonti ‘sala’ e non ‘camera’, celebra nel suo apparato decorativo i cavalli appartenuti a Federico II Gonzaga, Signore di Mantova e committente del Palazzo. La presenza di questi animali è assai significativa: a detta di Giorgio Vasari, Giulio Romano avrebbe infatti realizzato Palazzo Te in un “luogo e certe stalle […] dove [Federico] teneva la razza de’ suoi cavalli e cavalle”. Il Vasari ci informa anche di come tale opera di costruzione sarebbe stata eseguita “senza guastare la muraglia vecchia”. Recenti indagini hanno comprovato come effettivamente l’intera ala nord del Te, ove si trova la sala in questione, sia frutto del rimaneggiamento di una struttura preesistente. Gli affreschi progettati da Giulio Romano in questo ambiente celebrano quindi in immagine, i precedenti ‘padroni di casa’.
Sulle pareti affrescate della sala sei magnifici destrieri, grandi quasi al naturale, fanno bella mostra di sé. Di alcuni si conoscono anche i nomi: Morel Favorito e Dario sono infatti ancora accompagnati dalla scritta che ne ricorda l’identità. Per altri due cavalli – Glorioso e Battaglia – i nomi sono invece conservati in testimonianze grafiche cinquecentesche che riproducono l’aspetto della sala. Gli appellativi dei restanti due destrieri restano ancora ignoti.

Volete saperne di più? Venite a Mantova e contattateci, per scoprire, attraverso i nostri servizi professionali, storie, luogi e tesori dell'arte come questi.

Palazzo Te - Upcoming exhibition on Maria Callas

On view stage costumes, dresses, memorabilia, and archival photos collected over years of passionate research by Bruno Tosi, President of Associazione Culturale Maria Callas. First displayed at the Olivetti Show Room in Venice in 1993, this exhibition has successfully toured around the world. Following shows at the Italian Cultural Institutes of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the exhibition has now been extensively enlarged and updated and is now on view at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York. Then the exhibition will come back to Italy: from April 15th, in fact, the spirit of La Divina will inhabit the Renaissance rooms of Palazzo Te, Mantua.

Don't miss the occasion to meet - at the same time! - the magnificence of the Italian Art and the memories of one of the most iconic voices in the History of Opera. So contact us and make your guided tour a visit to be remembered!

Discover the place where the Opera was born

During the XVI century, Ferrante Gonzaga – the youngest of the six Isabella d’Este’s children – had a palace built in the center of Mantua. When his son Cesare inherited the building, he decided to create a theatre within it. He also setted there the meeting point for a group of his intellectual friends, known as  the “Accademia degli Invaghiti” (“Academy of the Enamored ones”). Since the Academicians used to have this theatre as their conference room to discuss about art, literature, and - mostly - music, the place soon became a center of the renaissance culture. So important that the very first melodrama of history was played there: “The History of Orpheus” composed by Claudio Monteverdi - considered the first Opera -  was staged at the Accademia on the Carnival of the 1607.
Unfortunatly the original theatre doesn't exist anymore. In fact, in the second half of the XVIII century it was so crumbling, that the Academy had to rebuild it.
The Academy - then renamed "Academy of Science, Literature and Arts" by the empress Maria Theresa from Austria - commissioned the Architect Antonio Galli Bibiena to reconstruct the theatre, exactly in the same place. The building of the new theatre - called "Bibiena" by the name of his constructor - begun 1766, and on the 3rd December 1769 it was inaugurated.
Few weeks after the inauguration, on the 16th  January 1770, Mozart, who was only 13 years old, came to Mantua from Salzburg to play a concert. On that occasion, the young Mozart said that the "Bibiena Theatre" was the most beautiful theatre in the world.
Wish to know more? Contact us, come to Mantua and discover through our professional services people, places and stories, like this one.
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