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MANTUA (Italian : _Mantova_ (_ listen ); Emilian and Latin
Latin
: Mantua_) is a city and commune in Lombardy
Lombardy
, Italy, and capital of the province of the same name .

In 2016, Mantua
Mantua
became Italian Capital of Culture. In 2017, Mantua will also be European Capital of Gastronomy, included in the Eastern Lombardy
Lombardy
District (together with the cities of Bergamo , Brescia
Brescia
, and Cremona
Cremona
).

In 2007, Mantua's _centro storico_ (old town) and Sabbioneta were declared by UNESCO
UNESCO
to be a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family has made it one of the main artistic, cultural , and especially musical hubs of Northern Italy
Italy
and the country as a whole. Mantua
Mantua
is noted for its significant role in the history of opera ; the city is also known for its architectural treasures and artifacts, elegant palaces, and the medieval and Renaissance
Renaissance
cityscape. It is the place where the composer Monteverdi premiered his opera _L'Orfeo_ and where Romeo
Romeo
was banished in Shakespeare 's play _ Romeo
Romeo
and Juliet _. It is the nearest town to the birthplace of the Roman poet Virgil , who was commemorated by a statue at the lakeside park "Piazza Virgiliana".

Mantua
Mantua
is surrounded on three sides by artificial lakes , created during the 12th century, as the city's defence system. These lakes receive water from the Mincio
Mincio
River, a tributary of the Po River which descends from Lake
Lake
Garda . The three lakes are called _Lago Superiore_, _Lago di Mezzo_, and _Lago Inferiore_ ("Upper", "Middle", and "Lower" Lakes, respectively). A fourth lake, Lake
Lake
Pajolo, which once served as a defensive water ring around the city, dried up at the end of the 18th century.

The area and its environs are important not only in naturalistic terms, but also anthropologically and historically; research has highlighted a number of human settlements scattered between Barche di Solferino
Solferino
and Bande di Cavriana , Castellaro and Isolone del Mincio. These dated, without interruption, from Neolithic
Neolithic
times (5th–4th millennium BC) to the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
(2nd–1st millennium BC) and the Gallic phases (2nd–1st centuries BC), and ended with Roman residential settlements, which could be traced to the 3rd century AD.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Fall of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
* 1.2 House of Gonzaga * 1.3 From Gonzaga to Habsburg
Habsburg
* 1.4 Unification of Italy
Italy

* 2 Main sights * 3 Transport * 4 Miscellaneous * 5 Twin towns – Sister cities * 6 Famous citizens * 7 Fictional characters * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 Bibliography * 11 External links

HISTORY

See also: Timeline of Mantua and Duchy of Mantua

Mantua
Mantua
was an island settlement which was first established about the year 2000 BC on the banks of River Mincio
Mincio
, which flows from Lake Garda to the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
. In the 6th century BC, Mantua
Mantua
was an Etruscan village which, in the Etruscan tradition, was re-founded by Ocnus .

The name may derive from the Etruscan god Mantus . After being conquered by the Cenomani , a Gallic tribe, Mantua
Mantua
was subsequently fought between the first and second Punic wars against the Romans , who attributed its name to Manto , a daughter of Tiresias . This territory was later populated by veteran soldiers of Augustus
Augustus
. Mantua's most famous ancient citizen is the poet Virgil , or Publius Vergilius Maro, (_ Mantua
Mantua
me genuit_), who was born in the year 70 BC at a village near the city which is now known as Virgilio.

FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

After the fall of the western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in 476 AD, Mantua
Mantua
was invaded in turn by Goths, Byzantines , Longobards , and Franks
Franks
. In the 11th century, Mantua
Mantua
became a possession of Boniface of Canossa , marquis of Tuscany . The last ruler of that family was the countess Matilda of Canossa (d. 1115), who, according to legend, ordered the construction of the precious Rotonda di San Lorenzo (or St. Lawrence's Roundchurch) in 1082. The Rotonda still exists today and was renovated in 2013.

FREE IMPERIAL CITY OF MANTUA

After the death of Matilda of Canossa, Mantua
Mantua
became a free commune and strenuously defended itself from the Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
during the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1198, Alberto Pitentino altered the course of River Mincio, creating what the Mantuans call "the four lakes" to reinforce the city's natural protection. Three of these lakes still remains today and the fourth one, which ran through the centre of town, was reclaimed in the 18th century.

PODESTERIA RULE

From 1215, the city was ruled under the _podesteria _ of the Gallic-Guelph Rambertino Buvalelli . _ Expulsion of the Bonacolsi in 1328, scene of Piazza Sordello_, canvas of Domenico Morone

During the struggle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines , Pinamonte Bonacolsi
Bonacolsi
took advantage of the chaotic situation to seize power of the podesteria in 1273. He was declared the _Captain General of the People_. The Bonacolsi
Bonacolsi
family ruled Mantua
Mantua
for the next two generations and made it more prosperous and artistically beautiful. On August 16, 1328, Luigi Gonzaga, an official in Bonacolsi's podesteria, and his family staged a public revolt in Mantua
Mantua
and forced a coup d\'état on the last Bonacolsi
Bonacolsi
ruler, Rinaldo.

HOUSE OF GONZAGA

Ludovico Gonzaga, who had been Podestà of Mantua
Mantua
since 1318, was duly elected CAPTAIN GENERAL OF THE PEOPLE. The Gonzagas built new walls with five gates and renovated the city in the 14th century; however, the political situation did not settle until the third ruler of Gonzaga, Ludovico III Gonzaga , who eliminated his relatives and centralised power to himself. During the Italian Renaissance, the Gonzaga family softened their despotic rule and further raised the level of culture and refinement in Mantua. Mantua
Mantua
became a significant center of Renaissance
Renaissance
art and humanism. Marquis Gianfrancesco Gonzaga had brought Vittorino da Feltre to Mantua
Mantua
in 1423 to open his famous humanist school, the Casa Giocosa.

Isabella d\'Este , Marchioness of Mantua, married Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess
Marquess
of Mantua
Mantua
in 1490. When she moved to Mantua
Mantua
from Ferrara (she was the daughter of Duke Ercole the ruler of Ferrara ) she created her famous studiolo firstly in Castello di San Giorgio for which she commissioned paintings from Mantegna , Perugino
Perugino
and Lorenzo Costa . She later moved her studiolo to the Corte Vecchia and commissioned two paintings from Correggio
Correggio
to join the five from Castello di San Giorgio. It was unusual for a woman to have a studiolo in 15thC Italy
Italy
given they were regarded as masculine spaces. Isabella was a vociferous collector and such was her reputation that Niccolò da Corregio called her 'la prima donna del mondo'. Ludovico Gonzaga receiving the news of his son Francesco being elected cardinal, fresco by Andrea Mantegna
Andrea Mantegna
in the Stanza degli Sposi of Palazzo Ducale . Palazzo Te .

Through a payment of 120,000 golden florins in 1433, Gianfrancesco I was appointed Marquis of Mantua
Mantua
by the Emperor Sigismund , whose niece Barbara of Brandenburg
Brandenburg
married his son, Ludovico. In 1459, Pope Pius II held the Council of Mantua
Mantua
to proclaim a crusade against the Turks . Under Ludovico and his heirs, the famous Renaissance
Renaissance
painter Andrea Mantegna worked in Mantua
Mantua
as court painter, producing some of his most outstanding works.

DUCHY OF MANTUA

The first Duke of Mantua
Mantua
was Federico II Gonzaga , who acquired the title from the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
Emperor Charles V
in 1530. Federico commissioned Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano
to build the famous Palazzo Te , on the periphery of the city, and profoundly improved the city. In the late 16th century, Claudio Monteverdi
Claudio Monteverdi
came to Mantua
Mantua
from his native Cremona. He worked for the court of Vincenzo I Gonzaga
Vincenzo I Gonzaga
, first as a singer and violist, then as music director, marrying the court singer Claudia Cattaneo in 1599.

FROM GONZAGA TO HABSBURG

In 1627, the direct line of the Gonzaga family came to an end with the vicious and weak Vincenzo II , and Mantua
Mantua
slowly declined under the new rulers, the Gonzaga- Nevers
Nevers
, a cadet French branch of the family. The War of the Mantuan Succession broke out, and in 1630 an Imperial army of 36,000 Landsknecht mercenaries besieged Mantua, bringing the plague with them. Mantua
Mantua
has never recovered from this disaster. Ferdinand Carlo IV , an inept ruler, whose only interest was in holding parties and theatrical shows, allied with France
France
in the War of the Spanish Succession . After the French defeat, he took refuge in Venice
Venice
and carried with him a thousand pictures. At his death in 1708, the Duke of Mantua
Mantua
was declared deposed and his family of Gonzaga lost Mantua
Mantua
forever in favour of the Habsburgs of Austria.

Under Austrian rule, Mantua
Mantua
enjoyed a revival and during this period the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts, the Scientific Theatre, and numerous palaces were built. Napoleonic Wars

In 1786, ten years before Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
's campaign of Europe, the Austrian Duchy of Mantua briefly united with the Duchy of Milan until 1791.

On June 4, 1796, Mantua
Mantua
was besieged by Napoleon's army as a move against Austria, who had joined the First Coalition against France
France
. Austrian and Russian attempts to break the siege failed, but they were able to spread the French forces thinly enough that the siege was abandoned on 31 July. After diverting the French forces elsewhere, the French resumed the siege on August 24. In early February 1797, the city surrendered and the region came under French administration. Two years later, in 1799, the city was recaptured by the Austrians after the Siege of Mantua (1799) .

Later, the city again passed into Napoleon's control and became a part of the Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy. In 1810 Andreas Hofer was shot by Porta Giulia, a gate of the town at Borgo di Porto (Cittadella) for leading the insurrection in the County of Tyrol against Napoleon. Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia

After the brief period of French rule, Mantua
Mantua
returned to Austria
Austria
in 1814, becoming one of the Quadrilatero fortress cities in northern Italy. Under the Congress of Vienna (1815) , Mantua
Mantua
became a province in the Austrian Empire's Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia . Agitation against Austria, however, culminated in a revolt which lasted from 1851 to 1855, but it was finally suppressed by the Austrian army. One of the most famous episodes of the Italian Risorgimento took place in the valley of the Belfiore , where a group of rebels was hanged by the Austrians.

UNIFICATION OF ITALY

At the Battle of Solferino
Solferino
(Franco-Austrian War) in 1859, the House of Savoy
Savoy
's Piedmont-Sardinia sided with the French Emperor Napoleon III against the Austrian Empire. Following Austria's defeat, Lombardy was ceded to France, who transferred Lombardy
Lombardy
to Piedmont-Sardinia in return for Nice
Nice
and Savoy
Savoy
.

Mantua, although a constituent province of Lombardy, still remained under the Austrian Empire along with Venetia. In 1866, Prussia-led North German Confederation sided with the newly established, Piedmont-led Kingdom of Italy
Italy
against the Austrian Empire. The quick defeat of Austria
Austria
led to its withdrawal of the Kingdom of Venetia (including the capital city, Venice
Venice
). Mantua
Mantua
reconnected with the region of Lombardy
Lombardy
and was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
.

MAIN SIGHTS

Piazza Sordello.

MANTUA Mantova

UNESCO
UNESCO
WORLD HERITAGE SITE

LOCATION Province of Mantua , Italy
Italy

COORDINATES 45°09′23″N 10°47′28″E / 45.1564°N 10.7911°E / 45.1564; 10.7911

AREA 63 km2 (680,000,000 sq ft)

CRITERIA ii, iii

REFERENCE 1287

INSCRIPTION 2008 (32nd Session )

WEBSITE www.comune.mantova.gov.it

Church of Santa Paola.

The Gonzagas protected the arts and culture, and were hosts to several important artists such as Leone Battista Alberti , Andrea Mantegna , Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano
, Donatello
Donatello
, Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens
, Pisanello , Domenico Fetti
Domenico Fetti
, Luca Fancelli and Nicolò Sebregondi. Though many of the masterworks have been dispersed, the cultural value of Mantua
Mantua
is nonetheless outstanding, with many of Mantua's patrician and ecclesiastical buildings being uniquely important examples of Italian architecture.

Main landmarks include:

* The _ Palazzo Te _ (1525–1535), a creation of Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano
(who lived in Mantua
Mantua
in his final years) in the mature Renaissance
Renaissance
style, with some hints of a post-Raphaelian mannerism . It was the summer residential villa of Frederick II of Gonzaga . It hosts the Museo Civico (with the donations of Arnoldo Mondadori , one of the most important Italian publishers, and Ugo Sissa , a Mantuan architect who worked in Iraq
Iraq
from where he brought back important Mesopotamian artworks) * The _Palazzo Ducale _, famous residence of the Gonzaga family, made up of a number of buildings, courtyards and gardens gathered around the _Palazzo del Capitano _, the Magna Domus and the Castle of St. George with the Camera degli Sposi , a room frescoed by Andrea Mantegna . * The _Basilica of Sant\'Andrea _ was begun in 1462 according to designs by Leon Battista Alberti
Leon Battista Alberti
but was finished only in the 18th century when was built the massive dome designed by Filippo Juvarra
Filippo Juvarra
. * The _Duomo _ (Cathedral of Saint Peter the Apostle) * The _ Rotonda di San Lorenzo _ * The _Bibiena Theater _, also known as the _Teatro Scientifico_, was made by Antonio Bibiena in 1767-1769. It was opened officially on 3 December 1769 and on 16 January 1770, thirteen-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played a concert. * The church of _San Sebastiano _ * The _Palazzo Vescovile _ ("Bishops Palace") * The _Palazzo degli Uberti _ * _Palazzo d\'Arco _, a Neoclassical palace erected by the eponoymous noble family from Trento starting from 1746. It is home to a museum and painting gallery with works by Bernardino Luini , Alessandro Magnasco , Frans Pourbus the Younger , Anthony Van Dyck
Anthony Van Dyck
and a painting cycle by Giuseppe Bazzani . * The _Torre della Gabbia_ ("Cage Tower") * The _ Palazzo del Podestà, Mantua _ * The _Palazzo della Ragione_ with the _Torre dell'Orologio_ ("Clock Tower") * The _Palazzo Bonacolsi
Bonacolsi
_ * The _Palazzo Valenti Gonzaga _, an example of Baroque architecture and decoration, with frescoes attributed to Flemish painter Frans Geffels . The façade of the palace was designed by Nicolò Sebregondi. * _Casa del Mercato_, a frescoed Renaissance
Renaissance
building designed by Luca Fancelli in 1462 and later used by Andrea Mantegna. * House of Mantegna, facing the church of San Sebastiano. It was built by the eponymous artist starting from 1476, and has plan with a circular internal court included within an external square building. It is now used for temporary exhibitions. * The church of Santa Paola, built in the early 15th century by the will of Marchioness Paola Malatesta , wife of Francesco I . Architects such as Luca Fancelli and Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano
collaborated to its construction. It houses the tombs of five members of the Gonzaga family, including those of Paola and of Francesco II . * The church of _Santa Maria del Gradaro_, built starting from 1256 on the site where, according to the tradition, Saint Longinus was buried. In 1772 it became a store, and was reconsecrated only in the 1950s.

TRANSPORT

Car

By car, Mantova can be reached on the A4 (Milan-Venice) Highway up to Verona, then the A22 (Brennero - Modena
Modena
) Highway. Alternatively, the city can be reached from Milan
Milan
on the State Road 415 (Milan-Cremona) to Cremona
Cremona
and from there State Road 10 (Cremona-Mantova), or from Verona
Verona
on the State Road 62. Railway

Mantova railway station , opened in 1873, lies on the train routes of Milan
Milan
- Codogno - Cremona
Cremona
- Mantua
Mantua
and Verona
Verona
-Mantua- Modena
Modena
. The station is a terminus of three regional lines, Mantova to Cremona
Cremona
and Milan
Milan
, Mantova to Monselice , and Mantova to Verona
Verona
Porta Nuova and Modena
Modena
. In September 2016, Trenitalia launched a new Rome-Mantova high speed route. Air

The closest airport is Verona-Villafranca Airport. The direct shuttle bus service running to and from Mantova railway station was canceled on January 1, 2015. Public connection is now provided by the airport bus running to and from Verona
Verona
Porta Nuova railway station, and the Verona-Mantova railway line. Bus

Local bus services, _urbano_ (within the city area and suburbs) and _interurbano_ (within the surrounding towns and villages) are provided by APAM.

MISCELLANEOUS

* An annual survey of Legambiente (an ecologist movement of Italy) in 2005 declared Mantua
Mantua
the most 'liveable' city of the country. The study was based on levels of pollution, quality of life, traffic, and public transport, among other criteria. * The body of Saint Longinus , twice recovered and lost, was asserted to have been found once more at Mantua
Mantua
in 1304, together with the Holy Sponge stained with Christ's blood. * In William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
's _ Romeo
Romeo
and Juliet _, Romeo
Romeo
spends his period of exile—his punishment for killing Tybalt —in Mantua. In Shakespeare's _ Taming of the Shrew _, the schoolmaster who pretends to be Lucentio 's father, Vincentio, is from Mantua. * The composer Claudio Monteverdi
Claudio Monteverdi
was employed by Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
Mantua
, ruler of the Duchy of Mantua , when he wrote the _ Vespers of 1610 _. Vincenzo's son and successor in 1612, Francesco IV Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
Mantua
, summarily sacked Monteverdi, who went on to a more prestigious position at the Basilica of San Marco, Venice
Venice
. * Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
's opera _ Rigoletto _ (based on Victor Hugo 's play _Le roi s\'amuse _) is set in Mantua. Austro-Hungarian authorities in Venice
Venice
forced him to move the action from France
France
to Mantua. A medieval building with portico and 15th-century loggia in Mantua
Mantua
is said to be "Rigoletto's house". It was actually the house of the cathedral regulars. It was chosen by the Gonzaga family as the residence of the legendary fool who was then used by Verdi in his opera. * Since 1997 Mantua
Mantua
has hosted the Festivaletteratura , one of the most renowned literary events in Europe. * In 2007 the remains of two people, known as the Lovers of Valdaro , were discovered during the construction of a factory. The remains are thought to be between 5000 and 6000 years old. It is speculated that the remains are of two young lovers because the two skeletons appear to be embracing. * In May 2012, a deadly earthquake struck Northern Italy, causing damage to some historic buildings in Mantua, including the Palazzo Ducale. After months of repair, the Palazzo reopened its doors in September 2012. * The composer Antonio Vivaldi was employed by the Governor of Mantua
Mantua
in the period 1718-1720.

TWIN TOWNS – SISTER CITIES

* Azuchi , Japan, 2005 * Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
, United States, 2001 * Weingarten , Germany, 1998 * Pushkin , Russia, 1993 * Charleville-Mézières , France, 1963

* Nevers
Nevers
, France, 1963 * Hyderabad , India * Oradea
Oradea
, Romania * Vitória , Brazil
Brazil

FAMOUS CITIZENS

* Giovanni Battista Bertani (1516–1576), architect * Giacomo Benefatti (1304 – 1332), Roman Catholic Bishop * Constanzo Beschi , (8 November 1680 – 1742), a well known Tamil poet. He is known as Vīramāmunivar in Tamil.

_ Baldassare Castiglione by Raphael
Raphael
at Louvre-Lens Tazio Nuvolari

* Baldassare Castiglione (Italian pronunciation: ; December 6, 1478 – February 2, 1529), count of Casatico, was an Italian courtier , diplomat , soldier and a prominent Renaissance
Renaissance
author . * Gino Fano (1871–1952), mathematician. * Leone de\' Sommi (c. 1525 – c. 1590), theater director and writer. * Mario Gadda (1930-2008), stringed instrumental (in particular, Violin) maker, luthier * Pietro Giovanni Guarneri (1655–1720), violin maker of the Guarneri family, left Cremona
Cremona
in 1679, eventually establishing himself in Mantua. * Learco Guerra (1902–1963), professional road racing cyclist, in 1931 won the world cycling championship . * Alfredo Guzzoni (1877–1965), Italian Army General in World War II * Alberto Jori , neo-aristotelian philosopher. * Lovers of Valdaro * Claudio Monteverdi
Claudio Monteverdi
(c. 1567 – 1643), composer. * Tazio Nuvolari (1892–1953), motorcycle and racecar driver. * Ippolito Nievo
Ippolito Nievo
(1831–1861), writer, journalist and patriot. * Giancarlo Pasquini (1963–), musician and singer * Pietro Pomponazzi (1462–1525), an Italian philosopher. He is sometimes known by his Latin
Latin
name, Petrus Pomponatius_. * Salamone Rossi (ca. 1570 – 1630), Jewish
Jewish
violinist and composer who served as concertmaster of the Mantua
Mantua
court from 1587 until 1628. * Giuseppe Sarto (1835–1914), appointed Bishop
Bishop
in 1884 before he became Pope Pius X in 1903. * Stefano Scarampella (1843–1925), violin maker, left Brescia
Brescia
and moved to Mantua
Mantua
in 1886. * Sordello or Sordel, a 13th-century Lombard troubadour , born in the municipality of Goito in the province of Mantua. * Franca Sozzani , editor-in-chief at Vogue Italia
Vogue Italia
was born here. * Virgil (70 BCE–19 BCE), a classical Roman poet.

FICTIONAL CHARACTERS

* Romeo
Romeo
Montague was banished here. * Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
's opera, Rigoletto is set here.

SEE ALSO

* Roman Catholic Diocese of Mantova * Tazio Nuvolari "The flying Mantuan" World-famous racing driver. There is a museum dedicated to his exploits. * St. Aloysius Gonzaga Jesuit, native of Mantua
Mantua
– died in 1591 at the age of 23. * Lovers of Valdaro

REFERENCES

* ^ Fagles, Robert, ed.: _The Aeneid_ (2006), 10.242, Penguin Group, ISBN 0-670-03803-2 * ^ Lucchini, Daniele: _Rise and fall of a capital. The history of Mantua
Mantua
in the words of who wrote about it_ (2013), ISBN 978-1-291-78388-9 * ^ Conte, Gian Biagio. Trans. Joseph B. Solodow _ Latin
Latin
Literature: A History_ Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. * ^ Henry S. Lucas, _The Renaissance
Renaissance
and the Reformation_ (Harper & Bros. Publishers: New York, 1960) pp. 42-43. * ^ http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom/Le-Frecce/Frecciargento-Roma-Mantova * ^ http://www.corriere.it/english/articoli/2005/11_Novembre/22/mantova.shtml * ^ Dates of birth and death, and cause of the latter, from ‘Baldassarre Castiglione’ Archived 2009-05-27 at WebCite , _Italica_, Rai International online. * ^ MacClintock, Carol (1979). _Readings in the History of Music in Performance_. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-14495-7 .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

See also: Bibliography of the history of Mantua
Mantua

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to MANTUA _.

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