Mantova Palazzo Ducale

This is an excerpt from the book “Mantua a complete guide” by Enrico Massetti.
Mantova,_Palazzo_Ducale
Mantova, Palazzo Ducale – Photo © andrea castelli

PALAZZO DUCALE (Gonzaga Palace)
This complex of buildings is extremely interesting, both for the beauty of the rooms as well as for its art collections.The whole body of buildings, which were erected, enlarged and restructured in different periods (XIII – XVIII century) covers a total area of about 34.000 sq.m., some parts of which stand out distinctly:

  • Domus Magna
  • Palazzo del Capitano
  • Castello di San Giorgio
  • Chiesa di Santa Barbara

and a series of courtyards, small squares and gardens.

The “Captain’s Palace”, together with the Domus Magna, is the oldest part of the whole complex (1200 A.D.) and an important testimony to medieval Mantuan architecture.

Palazzo Ducale - Photo © stijn
Palazzo Ducale – Photo © stijn

The two buildings can today be seen on the eastern side of Piazza Sordello.

The Saint George Castle was built between 1300 A.D. and 1400 A.D. to strengthen both the military and political power of the Gonzaga, who entrusted its plans to the architect Bartolino da Novara .

In 1459 the building was turned into a residence. Inside, visitors can see the famous “Camera degli Sposi” by Andrea Mantegna.

The Church of Saint Barbara, designed by Giovan Battista Bertani, was built around the middle of the sixteenth-century.

It houses wooden sculptures dating back to the end of the seventeenth-century, as well as precious sacred vestments.

The Hanging Garden (Giardino Pensile), designed by P. Pedemonte and built in 1579, is well worth a visit.

mantova-camera-degli-sposi
mantova-camera-degli-sposi – Photo © B. Balestrini

The central nucleus of the political life under the patronage of the House of Gonzaga, Palazzo Ducale also became the center of artistic life.

Among its guests internationally famous artists such as Mantegna, Pisanello, Giulio Romano, and Rubens, who decorated and enriched the various parts of the palace with paintings, frescoes, tapestries, statues, decorations and extremely refined furnishings.
Courtesy in part of Mantova e Dintorni

William Dellorusso
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy

Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.

The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.

The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)

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