There are a number of activities you can engage in while in the city.
If you are lucky to be visiting during September, you will witness the five day activity involving reading, open-air bookstalls and discussions. Well, while most of discussions are in Italian, there are some in English.
• Motonavi Andes: Interested in taking boat rides? Motonavi Andes organizes among other boat tours on the three artificial lakes situated outside the city. For the lake boat tours, charges are based on hours with a 1hour 30 minutes ride costing about €8.Also there are five hour excursions to san Benedetto as well as trips to Venice. The boat usually will depart from the Imbarco Motonavi Andes .It is situated behind on Lago di Mezzo’s shore just behind the Castello di San Giorgio.
This involves cycling along the city streets. If cycling is your thing and are interested in exploring the streets of Mantova, you can obtain a book from the tourist office, which details cycling routes. The book in English version, will offer valuable information as you plan to cycle within the town. For instance, it provides information on cycling along the Po river, in the Parco del Mincio and the lakes.
In Mantova the local boat owner on request, usually arrange Eco themed trips. These trips will take you to the unexplored water ways.
• The city Jazz festival
If you are a lover of jazz music then visiting Mantova from March to May, offers you the opportunity to be part of the jazz festivity held annually.
Mantova is renowned for her specialties; as you explore the magnificent and beautiful city, you can rest assured that you will have plenty of food specialties to choose from. Some of the famous specialties include luccio in salsa and pike in green sauce. Other food include a distinct pasta tortelli di zucca, which is a tortelli filled with squash and pumpkins, mostarda and amaretti cookies. Imperatively Mantova is a rice growing region and thus you will find risotto dishes in most restaurants.
The city has many restaurants offering great dishes. Some of the restaurants you can visit include
This is one of the best restaurants in the city. The restaurant is renowned for its delicious tortelli di zucca. Other specialties offered in the restaurant include; Mantuan beef stew with Lambrusco and polenta as well as platters served with local cheese. You can opt to dine in the magnificent 13th century dining room or in the cobbled square. The dining room overlooks the 15th century fresco.
The restaurant offers variety of dishes and has great service. The waiter and the employees will definitely make you feel at home. Also, the restaurant wine list selection is superb. They offer traditional menu which may include salame mantovano con pane caldo appetizers, tortino di zucca su fonduta di formaggi and pumpkin soufflé on cheese fondue, horse meat stew with polenta.
This great restaurant has a funky appeal .It is located in a small, gorgeous courtyard; the short menu takes a artistic approach to Mantovan cuisines, such as green ravioli served with duck or purple cabbage risotto.
• Grifone Bianco. Another excellent hotel offering gastronomic cuisines. This restaurant is civilly old-fashioned and distinctive restaurant, offering well-crafted customary dishes such as pumpkin tortelli and beef. You are advisable to eat outside especially opposite the magnificent illuminated Basilica. Some of the features that make this hotel stand out are the plates, made of local salami and polenta.
• Please ensure you visit the tourism office when you arrive.
• Mantova just like any other ancient town has narrow streets and driving within the city is near impossible. So if you are driving you can park outside the older city near the wall and then walk to the city square. This should not take you more than 10 minutes.
• For best accommodation advice or any other valuable advice, you can visit the local tourist office. Imperatively, have a guide showing the different places, you seek to visit. If you are in groups, you might need to get a local tour guide to take you around the city.
• Carry bug spray with you, especially if traveling in the summer or spring.
• Always book your place of accommodation in advance.
• Mantova is not known for its great night life club life, but you can visit the local lakes for great fun.
For other information about Mantova: