Mantua is one of the most mesmerising cities you could be fortunate to visit if you decide to spend your next holiday on a river cruise in Italy. Not only is it a place brimming with fascinating historical accolades, but it is also a city that has made a firm footprint on the culinary map of this wonderful country. |
If discovering a city from a cultural perspective is what keeps you travelling, then Mantua won’t disappoint – it really does have something for everyone. Here we highlight three special aspects of this Italian gem.
The theatres of Mantua are all well known for hosting some of the best and most current shows on the circuit. The Bibiena is the most famous theatre in the region of Lombardy, and rightly so when you consider that it was inaugurated by none other than the musical maestro, Mozart. He was only a teenager when he was invited to play here. With a façade designed by Piermarini and a reputation as a venue for experimental, more avant-garde pieces, this theatre is one definitely worthy of a visit. It is even better if you have time to catch a show.
Eating out in the city, it won’t escape your notice that there is a firm staple on many menus: the pumpkin. Pumpkins have long been a popular ingredient in the local dishes of the region and is often used as a base to a recipe. The pumpkin ravioli in particular comes highly recommended, especially in autumn time when the vegetable can be found in abundance. You will find every part of the pumpkin is used, from its pulp to its seeds and flowers, and it is used in every kind of dish, both sweet and savoury.
Recognised as one of the most popular festivals in the city, this celebration of literature plays host to workshops, readings, theatrical performances and talks by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners. Despite being the most prestigious of all the city’s festivals, if you are not visiting in September when the event is held, don’t despair. There are many more festivals held throughout the year including MantovaMusic and MantovaDanza.
Mid-spring sees the celebration of architecture with lectures by famous architects and a whole range of interesting exhibitions, while classical music fans on a river cruise in Italy during May will be able to look forward to the Trame Sonore, the event showcasing chamber orchestras. Not only is the music incredible, but the venues are equally spellbinding.
The Food and Science Festival and Mantova Creative are other highlights in the annual calendar, as are the Mantovafilmfest in August, Mantova Jazz in October and Segni d’Infanzia in November.
There is no denying that this city is a haven for culture lovers, so when planning out how to spend your free time on your river cruise in Italy, make sure you afford this city the attention it deserves.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive luxury barge holidays. If you're looking for a fantastic river cruise in Italy, or cruises to other great destinations, they are the go-to experts. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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