In 1850, Giuseppe Verdi, with the approval with the librettist Francesco Maria Piave, chose the late Renaissance Mantua as the scene for “Rigoletto”, an opera based on the play “Le Roi s’amuse” by Victor Hugo, mentioning the Duke of Mantua only peripherically. Since then, reality and fiction chase one another in the locations of the opera, which were recently represented in the movie “Rigoletto a Mantova”, produced by Andrea Anderman and broadcast live in 148 countries. Likewise, our Rigoletto itinerary develops through real and fictitious worlds, exploring the origins of music that made Mantua the birthplace of melodrama.

Meeting point in Piazza Sordello, brief explanation of the history of Mantua and the Gonzaga family. Visitors will then be taken on tour of the Casa di Rigoletto, where they will learn the history of this figure and its role within the court, as well as the plot of Verdi’s opera, to then visit the Ducal Palace, Gonzaga’s prestigious royal residence and home of beautiful works of art and majestic halls where Rigoletto used to perform. Visitors will be then taken to lunch in a typical Mantuan restaurant. The tour dedicated to Rigoletto will later feature a visit to the Rocca of Sparafucile and to the Bibiena Theatre, a 18th century beauty inaugurated by the young W.A. Mozart in 1770. A visit to Palazzo Te, the “palace of lucid illusions” designed by Giulio Romano and the Museum of S. Sebastiano, featuring the city’s most interesting historical and artistic objects will follow. Dinner and night stay in Mantua.

Visitors will leave soon after breakfast to Verdi’s home town, Parma. The trip will stop half way for a visit to Sabbioneta and its Teatro all’Antica (theatre in the style of the ancients), masterpiece of the “ideal town” as designed by Vespasiano Gonzaga. The journey will then continue to Roncole Verdi, home town of Giuseppe Verdi, for a visit to his birthplace. The renowned music composer is a distinguished representative of the place together with the writer Giovannino Guareschi. Visitors will be taken to the “Giuseppe Verdi” Theatre, inaugurated in 1868, and to Villa Pallavicino, host of the National Giuseppe Verdi Museum: the great composer’s operas are represented here through reproduction of the original scenes belonging to the Ricordi archive; the visitors will admire the 19th century original atmosphere, the theatrical lights and the immortal sounds. Visitors will then be given the opportunity to taste the local products for lunch in Busseto, after which they will be taken back to the hotel.



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