Welcome to the official web site of the Ducal Palace Museum complex that represents - with almost 1000 environments, towers, roads, courtyards and garden - Italy’s biggest architectural museum complex, and is amongst the most extended courts of renaissance origin in Europe.
Complesso Museale Palazzo Ducale is a highlight of the UNESCO site "Mantova e Sabbioneta" as an extraordinary testimony of Mantua's history, Italian Renaissance and European art between the Middle Ages and the Baroque. Due to its articulated configuration, it was defined as a “city-palace”. This vast architectural complex occupies an area of about 35,000 square meters with more than 1.000 rooms, initially designed as a series of disaggregated buildings, which found an organic form during the Sixteenth Century. Its construction started with the late Thirteenth Century nucleus built by the Bonacolsi family and continued up to the Habsburg projects during the Eighteenth Century. The history of the building is linked to the Gonzaga family, who lived here from 1328 to 1707. Among the masterpieces preserved into the Palace we can mention the late-gothic frescos by Pisanello realized at the beginning of the Fifteenth Century, the Camera Picta by Andrea Mantegna, one of the main examples of the Renaissance principles, and the Baroque paintings by Pieter Paul Rubens. Today – as in the past – Palazzo Ducale is a powerful attractor of artworks and cultural events due to its high prestige, with exhibitions dedicated to both ancient and contemporary art.As Torquato Tasso wrote (one of many artists who stayed here, from Pisanello to Mantegna, from Giulio Romano to Rubens and Monteverdi) “This is a splendid town, worth travelling a thousand miles for one to see it”. Many centuries on, the invitation is open more than ever.