The ideal city of Humanism in the heart of the Po Valley
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, Sabbioneta is a delightful town in the province of Mantua, on the border between Lombardy and Emilia Romagna. Still today, it represents one of the reference models of the ideal city proposed by Humanism. Its foundation is linked to Duke Vespasiano Gonzaga Colonna, who chose this fertile spot between the Po and Oglio rivers, along the route of the ancient Via Vitelliana.
Sabbioneta is a treasure chest to explore on foot, starting with the ancient walls that have surrounded the historic centre since 1554 and give it its characteristic six-pointed star layout, interrupted only by Porta Vittoria and Porta Imperiale. The heart of city life has always been Piazza Ducale, overlooked by the impressive Palazzo Grande, the first building commissioned by Vespasiano Gonzaga, and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, with its distinctive brick façade. Nearby, you can admire one of Sabbioneta’s masterpieces, the Teatro all’Antica theatre, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, with its elegant loggia of columns topped by statues of the Olympian gods.
We highly recommend visiting the Church of the Beata Vergine Incoronata, which houses the Duke’s tomb and the Palazzo del Giardino, the heart of Gonzaga’s private life.