Sordello Square, mentioned and loved by Dante, was the heart of
the public polical, religious and artistic life of the town for many centuries. The mixed architecture style of medieval palaces, and 18th's Cathedral and Bishops' house
suggests the lively history of Mantua.
Virgil was born (70BC) at Andes near Mantra in Cisalpine Gaul (modern Mantoua, 20-25 miles southwest of Verona). there is a manument of Virgil at the Herbs Square.
Bibiena Academic Theatre
Mantua's Conservatorio di Musica, in piazza Dante Alighieri, is connected to the small elegant Teatro Scientifico (seating ca.200). Built in 1769 to house a
private club (accademia), the Accademia Virgiliana, by the famous Galli-Bibiena family
of architects, it is also call Teatro Bibiena. Like several of their theatres, Mantua's theatre is cello-shaped, in contrast to the typical teatro all'italiana.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart inaugurated the hall in 1770, when he was fourteen, during his first journey to Italy.
It was coincidence or what, when we entered the theatre, on the stage, music school students were practicing Mozart's "Marriage of Fagarro". we sat there watching them for half hour until
the tour guide forced us to leave. another pleasant surprise.