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MILANO, MANTOVA , FERRARA : Beatrice, Isabella and Lucrezia, undisputed sovereigns of the epoch.

MILANO, MANTOVA, FERRARA
Beatrice, Isabella e Lucrezia undisputed sovereigns of the epoch.

 

A journey through the ruling dynasties of the renaissance, Sforza, Gonzaga, Estensi, discovering the phenomenon of patronage in the Italian courts between 15th and 16th century, the arts collection trend and the historical and dynastic events of great powerful families that later fell into decay and that are still fascinating even in our days. This itinerary is completely focussed on the renaissance culture that links three cities together, and in particular on the crucial role played by three female figures, Beatrice, Isabella and Lucrezia, undisputed sovereigns of the epoch, their interest (or lack of) in politics, and their passion for luxury, parties, arts and, overall, music.

 

DAY 1
MILANO AND THE SFORZA FAMILY
Arrival in Milan, and guided tour of the city, including the historical Sforza Castle and the Cathedral, its ancient squares and the noble palaces. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the precious artistic heritage contained in Brera’s picture gallery, with its magnificent Leonardo’s Last Supper, as well as the Church Sant’Ambrogio, Milan’s patron and the extraordinary Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Lunchtime will be free. Night stay in Milan.

DAY 2
MANTUA AND THE GONZAGA FAMILY
Departure for Mantua soon after breakfast.
Guided tour of the city, starting from the Ducal Palace, Gonzaga’s royal residence, with its unforgettable Camera degli Sposi featuring Mantegna’s frescoes, the precious Isabella d’Este’s apartment and the Sala dello Specchio (the Hall of the Mirror) where Monteverdi used to play (following request and authorisation).
The tour will continue through the palace’s squares and internal courtyards, representing a real city inside the city, as well as the Palatine Church of Santa Barbara.
At lunchtime, visitors will be free to wander around Mantua. In the afternoon, they will be able to explore the city along the former Prince’s path, starting from Piazza Sordello and Rigoletto’s house, the cathedral and Castiglioni Palace in the old town centre, continuing towards Piazza Broletto and its medieval buildings, Piazza delle Erbe with the Rotunda of San Lorenzo and the Church of Sant’Andrea.
Night stay in Mantua

DAY 3
DA MANTOVA A FERRARA
Soon after breakfast at the hotel, the visitors will be taken on a guided tour of Palazzo Te, summer residence of Marques Federico II, son of Isabella d’Este and Francesco Gonzaga, a masterpiece of Mannerism and Giulio Romano’s talent.
The so-called “lucid illusions” of Raphael’s favourite pupil, both on the artistic and the architectural side, are still object of the visitor’s astonishment and wonder. The wonderful Sala di Amore e Psiche and Sala dei Giganti deserve special mention.
At the end of the visit, the participants will be taken on board of a motorship for a cruise on Mantua’s lakes and the riverMincio.
In Governolo, they will sail through a navigation basin towards the river Po, following the stream through wide meanders and green peninsulas, to then reach the beautiful Unesco city of Ferrara, a well-kept example of spontaneous elegance, aristocracy and unprecedented architectural styles andartistic pieces.

Ferrara was the capital of Renaissance era, when the Este family experienced its greatest splendour that left indelible marks throughout the whole city, with the majestic town-planning project of Addizione Erculea, the Este Castle and the whole range of frescoes inside Schifanoia Palace. Lunch will be provided on board and visitors will spendthe night in Ferrara.

DAY 4
FERRARA AND THE ESTE FAMILY
Shortly after breakfast at the hotel, visitors will be taken on guided tours of the Castle, the Diamond Palace, the Cathedral and the frescoed rooms of Schifanoia Palace.Lunchtime will be free and the tour will end.

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