Mantua, located in the Italian region of Lombardy, was recently named the 2016 Italian Capital of Culture. Together with Sabbioneta, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has remained untouched. If you’re still not convinced about visiting, well,… check out the images below.

Mantua can be reached from Milan by train in just under two hours or from Verona Airport, 33 km away. From there, Sabbioneta is just over 30 minutes by car or by bus, which runs regularly even on weekends.

All photos are from participants in the #inLombardia365 tour in Mantua and Sabbioneta.

1. In the historic center at Piazza Concordia.

2. Street scenes of the locals downtown.

3. Saint George Castle, a defensive fortress built in 1406 that later became one of the most important examples of the Italian Renaissance.

4. The park in front of Palazzo Te.

Photo: @celicelo

5. The historic center is full of cobblestone streets.

Photo: @celicelo

6. Bibiena Theater, which first opened in 1769.

7. Leopold Mozart once said of the theatre, “In all my life, I have never seen anything more beautiful of its kind.”

Photo: @discret

8. The private home of Andrea Mantegna, the infamous Renaissance artist, is now an artistic center hosting temporary exhibitions. Just remember to look up. You can find it in Via Acerbi 47.

Photo: @celicelo

9. Pumpkin tortelli. Sweet, savory, and served with a nice Lambrusco wine. Swing by Giallo Zucca for some traditional Mantuan fare (grab a seat on the outdoor patio if you can).

10. Piazza delle Erbe is a great place to grab a drink or a meal and do some people watching.

11. Street scenes at just one of the weekend markets here in Mantua where you can buy flowers, vegetables, local cheeses, meats, clothes, handcrafted items and more.

12. The Chamber of the Giants, with floor to ceiling frescoes, is a Renaissance masterpiece by Giulio Romano in Palazzo Te.

13. More interiors at Palazzo Te. This palace was originally built for recreational purposes and was surrounded by pristine nature. Take a tour through the countless halls.

14. Peeking out into a stunning courtyard of the Ducal Palace.

Photo: @agosaw

15. Classic Italian design.

16. Sabbioneta, known as the ideal city, was created in the late 16th century and features some of the most incredible architecture.

Photo: @agosaw

17. A man sits in the only Synagogue of Sabbioneta dating back to 1824. It’s located inside a private building and still holds service despite the town’s low population of around 400.

18. Freshly made pasta at a cooking class in Mantua. Amazing food, and since they teach you how to do it, you can go home with the recipe. Check out the Peccati di Gola Cooking School to try your hand at homemade tortelli.

19. Just a little something to hold you over while the main courses are cooking.

20. Mincio River.

Photo: @celicelo

21. In Mantua you can have happy hour on a boat while you watch the sunset.

22. Watching the boat take off after a spin on the river…

Photo: @celicelo

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