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5 Hours in Mantua, Italy

Last weekend, my friend and I went out of town for the day and spent it in Mantua. About 2 hours and a half away from Milan, we woke up early Saturday morning to catch our train ride only to find ourselves a few seconds short. By golly, we missed our train.

My friend claims I took too long to get ready and I blamed her for sleeping in. Maybe it was the fact that we were both too tired or we didn’t have our coffee yet but, as we stood in line getting our tickets checked by the ticket agent, my friend and I saw our train leave, we both looked at eachother and just busted out laughing. It was the first time I’ve ever missed a train ride. Somehow, I was glad we did because I really needed a coffee.manrova (2 of 24).jpgFast forward 3 hours later, voilà! We arrived in the beautiful Mantua. The city center was buzzing with people from families, locals and tourists alike. We circled around here for a few minutes trying to capture the beauty of it all. manrova (1 of 24).jpgmanrova (3 of 24).jpgIn the middle of the square, I looked up and saw this architecture. How authentic is this? I was amazed at how the details are still in tack and very much still in place.manrova (6 of 24).jpgmanrova (7 of 24).jpgThis old city center was declared in 2007 on UNESCO to be a world heritage site. Upon entering into this square, I couldn’t help and gawk at the scenery. The square is pretty wide and is surrounded with cafe’s, restaurants, churches and a palace. My friend and I spent some time standing here and admiring at what we are seeing. Then, I decided to pull out my phone to take photos but, sadly it slipped and fell on the cobblestones. F! My phone cracked at the edges but, it was still working. Phew! Those cobblestones sure are strong. You can’t get away from them as they are widespread within the square.manrova (8 of 24).jpgducale.jpgIn the square, we entered in Palazzo Ducale. This is one of the things to see in Mantua.It used to be a royal residence of the Gonzaga noble family back in the 17th century which consists of lavished rooms, paintings and what not. manrova (12 of 24).jpgThis passage way was my favorite part. The perspective of the hallway captured well on camera and I couldn’t help take a snap. manrova (16 of 24).jpg

manrova (5 of 24).jpgmanrova (18 of 24).jpgAfter Palazzo Ducale, we walked around on the other side to see Castello di San Giorgio. I’m not sure what’s up with the green water but, the castle was beautiful. You can visit this when you buy a combined ticket with the Palazzo Ducale museum. Please note that the castle opens much later in the afternoon and you must buy a combined ticket with the museum. Otherwise, they won’t allow you to buy a ticket just for the castle. I know because we attempted to enter and the lady explained to us that it must be a combined ticket with the museum. So, we skipped going in to the castle altogether and instead walked around it. We still had a good view of the castle.manrova (19 of 24).jpgmanrova (21 of 24).jpgAcross the street is a lake. We scampered over and walked for a bit. There was something so peaceful looking into the water.manrova (22 of 24).jpgAfter all this walking, we got hungry. We circled around the square trying to find a good meal for lunch. To our surprise, we were refused at every restaurant that we tried to get in to because they were all booked or they did not have room to accommodate us?

I found this quite odd when restaurants refuse customers. It would be understandable if, they said the wait is 30-40 minutes and the customers could make that decision to either wait or leave. But, to outright tell a client to leave, to me, is insane.

Anyway, we settled for the only restaurant that took us in at Taverna del Duca. The food wasn’t that bad or maybe I was starving but, I ordered the Matua Reis which is basically a rice plate with meat. It was surprisingly delicious.manrova-15-of-24Then, we walked over for a gelato.manrova-23-of-24It made the rest of the day a whole lot better.

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