Mantua: the 2016 Italian Capital of Culture
The beauties of the Lombard city declared World Heritage by UNESCO
The Lombard city of Mantua vigorously beat its rivals out, namely the nine finalists Aquileia, Como, Ercolano, Parma, Pisa, Pistoia, Spoleto, Taranto and Terni. Not only it received the "glory of capital", but also 1 million Euros to carry out all the activities related to this new title awarded.
Dario Franceschini -Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism - joyfully commented the success on the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, also stating that "every year there will be a new Italian capital of culture". This initiative aims at fostering the planning ability of Italian cities in launching cultural activities. The latters are usually regarded as a relevant catalyst for a higher social cohesion, creativity, innovation and an overall economic development.
Mattia Palazzi - Mantua mayor - pointed out his will to strengthen the institutional commitment for a great performance of the city after this important reward. So far, the Lombard city stands as a great venue, declared Wold Heritage by UNESCO for its unique architectural and monumental beauties left by the Gonzaga's dominance, which lasted for four centuries.
Among the exclusive sights and things to do, ten locations are definitely a "must see". Firstly, St. George Bridge and its panorama facing the Castle and the surrounding lake is followed by Palazzo Ducale. Landmark of the Gonzaga's family, its construction started in XIII century and it represents one of the biggest and majestic monumental buildings in Italy, visited every year by 200 thousand people.
The Camera degli Sposi, located in St. George Castle, stands as an amazing masterpiece by Andrea Mantegna, who tastefully decorated the room with frescos on the Gonzaga's family. The unique squares in the city centre - such as Piazza Sordello and Piazza Broletto,- are also to be seen, while enjoying a nice walk.
Finally, visitors might not want to miss St. Andrew Basilica, the Long Rio, the Fishmarket, the Te Palace, the Scientific Bibiena Palace, Valdaro's Lovers and the Literature Festival, happening every year in September.