Let’s explore together an itinerary in a different Mantua, discovering unique places, from the Nuvolari museum to the best nightlife spots.
Located in the heart of the lower Po Valley, surrounded by the three bodies of water of the Mincio River, Mantua is one of the richest cities in art and culture in all of northern Italy. If you have already admired the most famous sights of this extraordinary town, from Palazzo Te to Palazzo Ducale, today we want to give you some ideas for returning and organizing a visit beyond the more classic tourist itineraries.
Wondering what to do in Mantua to experience an out-of-the-box weekend? You should know that this city is also about modern art, motoring, entertainment… and it also knows how to enchant children! See why!
A weekend in Mantua: start at the House of Mantegna
Mantegna’s house, located halfway between the Ducal Palace and Palazzo Te, can be visited today: on a walking tour of Mantua, stop here to admire its crisp, perfect architecture (so similar to that depicted in the Camera Picta!) and take the opportunity to enjoy one of the many temporary contemporary art exhibitions housed here.
Mantua, things to do Visit the Nuvolari Museum and the “mantovano volante” (The Flying Mantuan)
Another character linked to Mantua (because he was born a few kilometers away) is the famous racing driver Tazio Nuvolari. A museum is dedicated to him in the former Carmel church, where you can rediscover one of the most exciting and incredible tales of humanity and sports in the 20th century. Retrace his exploits by admiring memorabilia that belonged to him, including helmets, gloves, goggles, overalls and the inseparable yellow jersey.
What to do in Mantua with children: the Fire Fighting Museum
Travelling with kids? Few things fascinate the little ones like the daring deeds of firemen. Among the things to do in Mantua, housed within the Palazzo Ducale, you can visit the Museo Storico dei Vigili del Fuoco – the city’s Historical Firefighting Museum, which celebrates the bravery of these modern heroes and chronicles the technological progress of the field through displays of historic objects and vehicles, from the oldest wooden hose carts to modern helicopters.
Mantua, things to do in weekend evenings
It is absolutely forbidden to pass through Mantua and not sample the typical Mantuan pumpkin tortelli, which is why we have previously given you tips on which restaurants prepare them to perfection. But what is there to do after a delicious dinner? In the evening, the downtown streets come alive and offer a vast array of possibilities. You can sip a glass of wine at the Chiringuito, dance at the Gusto music restaurant or spend pleasant hours in company sitting at a table in the Tre Scalini pub.
A weekend in Mantua and surroundings: discover Sabbioneta and Curtatone
The city’s surroundings are also beautiful. In addition to the magnificent Mincio park, ideal for a picnic, there are other attractions. For example, do not miss the beautiful Sabbioneta, which shares a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation with Mantua and represents the ideal city envisioned by the Gonzaga family, with its perfect proportions and six-pointed star structure, the Doge’s Palace and the Olympic theater.
And then there is Curtatone, with the evocative sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Grace and the mythical crocodile… A legend to be discovered!
Reach Mantua with Italo
Did this itinerary for a “different” weekend in Mantua inspire you? We recommend taking a high-speed train to Reggio Emilia and then continuing by bus to Mantua, taking advantage of the Italobus service: with a single ticket, you’ll arrive quickly and conveniently in the city of the Gonzagas, ready to explore even its lesser-known sites!