Day Trip to Mantua, Thursday, June 8, 2017 (in Italian)
The Sanctuary of the Holy Virgin of Blessings Received (Santuario della Beata Vergine delle Grazie) is a Lombard Gothic style church dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary. It rises in the small “Grazie” district of the city of Curtatone. Set on a large piazza, the basilica also overlooks and faces the marshy waters of the Mincio River, creating an evocative atmosphere. The sanctuary is classified as a minor basilica. In its nave, 53 polymaterial sculptures representing various people are displayed in a gallery of ex voto put up in recognition of prayers answered. Hanging from the ceiling is a stuffed crocodile that, according to legend, was the scourge of the river’s waters, and was caught thanks to divine intervention.
Boat trip on the Mincio River
The Mincio River is born of Lake Garda at Peschiera. After having passed the areas of Ponti sul Mincio, Monzambano, Volta Mantovana and Goito, it reaches the area between Rivalta and Grazie where it slows down, and creates the natural reserve of the Mincio valley: a marsh that extends for about 1400 hectares, declared a wet zone of international importance in 1971. The reserve seems like a labyrinth of canals where one navigates through thick vegatation on the water colored by various kinds of water lilies, water hybiscus, and water chestnuts. It is the uncontaminated reign of water birds such as herons, grebes, bitterns, and other rare species who live and nest here.
Lunch at Ca’ delle Erbe
The Francesco Gonzaga Diocese Museum is in the large cloister of the ex-Augustinian monastery of St. Agnes. In 1974, there was in the Ducal Palace of Mantua an exhibit entitled “Art Treasures of the Land of the Gonzaga” that presented a series of masterpieces that were almost unknown, and a great deal of which had come from the churches of this diocese. The success of the exhibit encouraged its organizer, Monsignor Luigi Bosio, to project a permanent display of the objects brought together in a museum. The “Diocese Museum of Sacred Art” – as it came to be called – was inaugurated in 1983. It houses a varied collection: paintings, sculptures, precious metal pieces, textiles, illuminated books, ceramics, ivory, and even arms. After its opening, the first nucleus of objects exhibited rapidly increased, also thanks to important private donations, and the space allotted to it was increased, so that now it is not only one of the most important museums in the city, but, thanks to the beauty and rarity of its treasures, one of the most important in the world, even according to experts.
The d’Arco Mansion (Palazzo d’Arco), as seen from its imposing facade and interior structures, was erected between 1784 and the immediately subsequent years by the Neoclassical architect Antonio Colonna for a branch of the family of the d’Arco counts from the area of Trent. In Mantua, for their presence and significance, the d’Arco counts were important already before the Renaissance. Recently, as recorded in a plaque visible in the atrium, Giovanna of the d’Arco counts in her inspired last will and testament wanted the whole constituted by the mansion and its collections to be a public museum for the benefit of the city and the world of culture. The building was tied to the city of Mantua via a foundation that maintains unaltered the 18th and 19th century charm of a patrician home. It is completely furnished as it was at the time of the last descendent of the noble family. The painting collection is of notable artistic and historic value. Also interesting is the 19th century kitchen full of copper obects. In addition to the unusual exedra of the courtyard of honor, the great cycle of frescoes of the Room of the Zodiac, done by G.M. Falconetto at the beginning of the 16th century, may also be visited.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Day Trip by bus to Mantua, Thursday, June 8, 2017 (in Italian)
Meeting place and time: via Paleocapa, corner of via Jacini, 7:45 A.M.
Return: via Paleocapa, corner of via Jacini, about 7:30 P.M.
Fee: €110,00 (included: tickets, boat trip, bus trip, lunch) for members in good standing of the Friends of the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum Association
For information, for participating, for joining the Friends
Office, Friends of the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum Association
T +39 03 7600 6132