Wednesday, June 08, 2011


The time has come to reveal my whereabouts at the end of last week and those of you who guessed Verona were the nearest.  I was, in fact, spending a few days with a friend who lives within the Province of Mantova and about ten minutes from Mantova itself by car.  Verona is also nearby.

I very much enjoyed a drive to see the panorama of Mantova by night and by day, watching people strolling along by the three artificial lakes which surround the city, I was reminded of the tranquillity of Roath Park in Cardiff!  Mantova was named Italy's most liveable city for quality of life by Legambiente in 2005.

My clue about violins and tea on Sunday was a bit of a cheat as Mantova's Palazzo Te has nothing to do with tea but was named for the island, called Teieto in medieval times, on which it was built.  The Palazzo was built as a summer residence for Duke Federico 11 Gonzaga by Giulio Romano between 1525 and 1535.

The original frescoes can still be admired in the Palazzo and it also houses collections of Mesopotamian and Egyptian art as well as mementoes of the Gonzaga family.  Our visit happened to coincide with an exhibition about Maria Callas so we were able to see some of the singer's gowns and jewellery as well as learning more about her life.  We also enjoyed watching the arrival of guests for a 1930s -themed wedding reception which was about to take place in the elegant Palazzo!

No photos can be taken inside the Palazzo Te but here are some views of the exterior:

How cool the Gonzaga must have been in summer!

I was last in Verona some thirty years ago and I just had to go and see that most famous of balconies again:

The city traffic was heavy so I only managed a wave at the Arena but things were calmer down by the river:

These Roman remains were discovered in the city centre in recent years:

I gasped at the beauty of the city from one of its hills:

Tripoli is a hamlet within the Province of Mantova so no, I didn't see any retreating colonels!

Letters to Juliet


CherryPie said...

That sounds like a fabulous few days away :-)

jams o donnell said...

Wow that is a beautiful place for a holiday

Leslie: said...

I am so glad you're having a wonderful time. I saw that movie and loved every minute of it, especially the scenery!

Trubes said...

What a wonderful feature Pat. I've spent the last hour reading and reading it. I've only been to Italy once on a trip from Seefeld in Austria. We visited The Dolomites area and I remember clearly, seeing a most beauiful little lake called Carezza. We had Pasta in a little tratoria nearby, young and foolish....and in love....Golden days!


Chloe said hello, purr purr, to you and Simi. At present, she's stretched across my lap, with her head placed at the edge of my PC., staring at the screen. She, obviously knows I'm talking to you and Simi!

Glad you enjoyed your holiday and I'm looking forward to seeing some rustic Northern Italian recipes!


James Higham said...

You've certainly been getting about in recent days.

Bev said...

A 1930's themed wedding sounds wonderful. And I think getting married in a palace is way better than getting married in Verona at "Juliet's Tomb". Can't think of a more pessimistic start to a life together. Did you see the wedding guests and were they dressed in black 30's wear? Italian weddings are not like those in the States.

Rosaria Williams said...

Oh fun and exciting. Loved the pictures.

J. M. P. said...

I wish I had climbed that hill when I was in Verona, it looks so beautiful from there.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It was very pleasant indeed, Cherie. Yes, I would like to spend more time in Mantova, jams. Hi, Leslie and thank you. I loved the film too but I think the best scenery in it was Franco Nero! Very kind of you to say so, Trubes. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. That must have been a great trip you had. Love and wags to you all from Simi xxx woof! Hi, James. Yes, gotta stop now! I agree with you about the wedding venue, Bev. Yes, there were people in very elegant black. Thanks, Rosaria. I was very glad to be driven up that hill, Josep!

Ellee Seymour said...

How wonderful. I've been to Verona and drove around in a hire car too. What mad drivers!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Not as mad as down here, Ellee!

Unknown said...

Wow! What a neat place. And, if Simi hadn't told me, I'd not have known you were there and seen these photos. (That's what I get not not reading my dear friends' blogs as often as I once did).

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Nick. Yes, I'd like to spend more time there. Talking of time, we can all only do what we can do, so don't worry.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This post brought back memories of Verona and Mantova to me! beautiful photos, Pat! So glad you had a nice holiday!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Pat. Glad it brought back nice memories.


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