Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy, and capital of the province of the same name.
In 2016, Mantua was designated as the Italian Capital of Culture. In 2017, it was named as the European Capital of Gastronomy, included in the Eastern Lombardy District.
In 2008, Mantua's centro storico and Sabbioneta were declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family has made it one of the main artistic, cultural, and especially musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole. Having one of the most splendid courts of Europe of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and early seventeenth centuries. Mantua is noted for its significant role in the history of opera; the city is also known for its architectural treasures and artifacts, elegant palaces, and the medieval and Renaissance cityscape. It is the city where the composer Monteverdi premiered his opera L'Orfeo and to where Romeo was banished in Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It is the nearest town to the birthplace of the Roman poet Virgil, who is commemorated by a statue at the lakeside park "Piazza Virgiliana".