Mantua was one of the main centers of the Italian and European Renaissance and thanks to its artistic and cultural heritage it was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2008.The city experienced a period of great splendor during the long domination of the Gonzaga family, who ruled Mantua from the middle of the fourteenth century to the early eighteenth century. Religious and civil monuments that today are considered the major attractions of the city came into existence during their reign. Churches, palaces, towers, castles: Mantua offers a wide range of civil and religious monuments and architecture. The city's 'Duomo' is the Cathedral, dedicated to St. Peter, that was built in the later years of the 12th century in Romanesque style with small influences of Gothic Art. The oldest churches in the city are the Basilica of Sant'Andrea and San Lorenzo Church and they are of great historical and artistic interest.
The architectural complex of Palazzo Ducale is what today is considered to be the palace of the Gonzaga: this city-like structure consists of buildings, courtyards and extensive gardens. Among the featured towers the Clock Tower and the Palazzo del Podesta Tower are of particular interest, with its their towering 47 meter height. The famous artist Andrea Mantegna worked in Mantua. He was a painter of the Gonzaga court in the second half of the 13th century, and his residence is now a tourist destination due to its architectural design and the temporary exhibitions inside.