Visit Mantua Ducal Palace without waiting in line! Built between the beginning of the 14th and the 17th century, over 500 rooms form the palace complex, and Mantegna's frescoes of the “Chamber of the Newlyweds” are just one of the many stunning sights. Ticket allows the complete visit to the Ducal Palace, including Castel San Giorgio with the Bridal Chamber, the Old Court and the art collection Romano Freddi.
Reservations must be made with a minimum of 1-day notice.
CANCELLATION POLICY:Once a confirmation code has been assigned to the reservation, up to 2 business days before the date of the visit, we can refund the cost of unused tickets minus a service fee (reservation fee and online booking fee). For further cancellations and no shows, no refund is possible.
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The Ducal Palace of Mantua is a complex of buildings built over a long period – from the beginnings of the 14th all the way to the 17th century. During the latter period, the main ruling family of Mantua, the Gonzaga, experienced their decline. The complex is formed by about 500 rooms and covers a surface of almost 34.000 square meters.
To create the palace, the most important artists of the various eras were called by the powerful Gonzaga family with the task to increase the magnificence of their residence. The more significant names are Bartolino da Novara, who projected and directed the construction of San Giorgio Castle, as well as Antonio Pisano, known as Pisanello, who realized a famous cycle of frescoes inspired by the legend of King Arthur, Andrea Mantegna, artist of the famous Camera Picta or "Chamber of the Newlyweds", and Giulio Romano, famous for both his paintings and the scenographic project of the architectural creations.
The oldest part of the palace is formed by Domus Magna and the Palace of the Captain, later known as Corte Vecchia (“Old Court”). San Giorgio Castle, built in 1395, was modified in 1459, when marquis Ludovico Gonzaga decided to moved there from the Old Court. Two other important decorative interventions are linked to Ludovico's name. The first was realized in the Prince's Room by Pisanello, with a cycle of frescoes representing scenes from the legend of King Arthur. The other work of art carries the signature of Andrea Mantegna, who painted the famous “Chamber of the Newlyweds” in the northwest tower of San Giorgio Castle between 1465 and 1474, and dedicated it to Ludovico Gonzaga and his wife Barbara of Brandenburg.
Their firstborn, Federico I, added the Domus Nova (“new house”) to the palace, which was built according to plans by Luca Fancelli, and completed in the 17th century. Isabella D'Este placed her collection of paintings (which are now in the Louvre) in the east tower, in the Studio, and the antiquities in the Grotta. At the death of her husband Federico II (1519), her entire collection was moved to the Old Court, into the new apartments containing also the Scalcheria, which was decorated with grotesques and mythological motifs by Lorenzo Leonbruno in 1522, and a little secret garden.
The palace decorations include historical, allegorical and mythological themes. Further mythological decorations were ordered by Duke Federico II, who commissioned Giulio Romano in 1531 to destroy the Palazzina della Paleologa and the apartment of Troy in order to restructure the Ducal Palace. Part of the apartment are also the “Jupiter Room,” the “Cabinet of the Caesars,” the “Dressing Rooms of the Falcon” or “of Ganymede,” the “Loggetta of the Dogs,” decorated with stories of Ceres and Proserpina, and the “Dressing Room of the Birds.”
Giulio Romano himself created the summer apartment, called “la Rustica” (1538-1539), as well as the frescoes in the “Manto Room.” Some uncertainties prevail about the chronology of the frescoes and stucco work that adorn the precious Saletta of Apollo or of the Virtues, attributing them either to Primaticcio in 1532, or to Lorenzo Costa the Younger, who also painted the Hall of the Zodiac in the Old Court in 1579.
The last decorative intervention was undertaken in the 16th century, with frescoes depicting stories of the Metamorphoses in the Galleria Passerino. The work was begun in 1595 and conducted by Antonio Maria Viani, whose employees are also responsible for the mythological and allegorical frescoes that decorate the vaulted ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors, which was originally conceived as a large porch, and subsequently closed.
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Please note that you'll be asked to exhibit a valid ID document at the museum entrance.
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