AT#552 – Travel to Northern Italy (Mantua, Verona, Padua)

Travel to Northern Italy (Mantua, Verona, Padua) - One week itinerary (Podcast)

Hear about travel to Mantua, Verona, Padua Italy as the Amateur Traveler talks to Gina Mussio from about these wonderful cities in her adopted country.

Gina came to Italy to study the language but stayed when she married an Italian. She lives in Milan and wants us to know more about these 3 historic cities between Milan and Venice.

She says, “I think that when people focus on the smaller towns in Italy they often focus on the smaller towns of Tuscany, which are incredible. But living in Lombardy, I’ve been able to explore a lot of the small towns here and I wanted to show people that they’re worth a visit also. Some of them are just as beautiful and just as historic and have just as delicious food as the hill towns of Tuscany.”

She lays out a week long itinerary for these 3 cities that starts in Mantua which is closest to Milan. Mantua is a city in the fertile Po River Valley. Mantua was named the Italian Capital of Culture in 2016 and the European capital of gastronomy in 2017. It’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. “Mantua is this wonderful little town in the fields of Lombardy. It is the home town of the poet Virgil. Vivaldi the composer lived there. It is where Romeo was exiled to in Romeo and Juliet.” Gina guides us to the Ducal Palace, and to a selection of the churches and piazzas in the town. she recommends we sample the Pumpkin Tortelli and Risotto.

We move on to Verona, most famous for Romeo and Juliet. The Verona arena is still used for summer operas which Gina highly recommends. The most famous landmark is Romeo & Juliet’s House. We talk about the odd myths around the whale bone which hangs above the Piazza delle Erbe. Supposedly it will fall on the first “truthful and just person” to walk under it. After touring some of the local churches she recommends we stop for meal of donkey meat.

The last town is nearby Padua. Padua has one of the oldest Universities in Italy. “Padua is a medieval city in Veneto. We are getting closer to the sea here. You can really see the Venetian Republic’s influence on it in the architecture and the richness of the city. It’s absolutely beautiful.” Its most notable site is the Scrovegni Chapel with its Last Judgment fresco by the artist Giotto. You will need to book ahead to see the chapel. She recommends a stop at 3 of the piazzas: Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza delle Fruta, Piazza del Signori. Gina recommends we stop or a spritz.

With’s their history, architecture and food, these cities may also become your favorites.

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Show Notes

Gina Mussio


Po Valley

Piazza Sordello

Palazzo Ducale

Camera degli Sposi

Palazzo Te

Teatro Bibiena

Rotonda di San Lorenzo


Mantua and Sabbioneta

Antica Osteria ai Ranari



Piazza Bra

Verona Arena

Piazza delle Erbe, Verona

San Zeno Basilica

San Lorenzo Basilica

Lake Garda


Prato della Valle

Orto botanico di Padova

University of Padua

Scrovegni Chapel

Piazza delle Erbe (Padua)

Piazza delle Fruta

Piazza del Signori

Snapshots of Mantova

History of the Verona Arena


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Travel to Northern Italy (Mantua, Verona, Padua) - One week itinerary (Podcast)

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