Ducale Palace (Palazzo Ducale Mantova)
A highlight of Mantua walking tours, the Palazzo Ducale is one of the most striking attractions in this UNESCO-listed Renaissance capital. Go with a guide to fully appreciate the palace’s fascinating history and frescoes, or purchase skip-the-line tickets in advance to visit on your own. Many tours of the city center combine a visit to the palace with stops at Piazza delle Erbe and Rotonda di San Lorenzo, Mantua’s oldest church.
Things to Know Before You Go
A wander through Palazzo Ducale is a must for Renaissance art enthusiasts.
Expect to walk a lot at the sprawling palace.
The palace is only partially accessible to wheelchairs—request additional information at the ticket office.
Large bags and backpacks, umbrellas, and other big objects must be left in the storage lockers at the entrance.
Photography is allowed—the ornate interiors are a photographer’s dream.
How to Get There
Just south of Lake Garda, Mantua is about halfway between Milan and Venice. Palazzo Ducale is located in the city center, about 10 minutes by foot from the train station.
When to Get There
Like many northern Italian cities, Mantua is often damp and cold in winter, and indoor sights like the palace offer a welcome respite from the chilly climate. To enjoy the city at its finest, however, visit in the more temperate spring or fall.
Highlights in the Palazzo Ducale
The palace’s crown jewel is its Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber). In addition, look for the Sala di Troia council chamber decorated with scenes from the Trojan War, Rubens’Adoration of the Holy Trinity in the Sala degli Arcieri, and the ceiling frescoed with constellations in the Sala dello Zodiaco.