The English writer Aldous Huxley called it the most romantic city in the world. Mantua is first of all an original mixture of history and art. The city imposes itself on the visitor above all as a treasure chest of art treasures that famous names in the world were able to fill with precious works: it is enough to mention Mantegna, Pisanello, Giulio Romano, Leon Battista Alberti, to evoke numerous other artists, painters, urban planners who increased its undisputed cultural dignity. Each of them has left an indelible mark that the visitor can admire not without wonder. Ancient city that sinks its origins in the Etruscan age, Mantua reached its splendor in the communal age and especially during the long domination of the Gonzaga family (1328-1707). To the communal period and to the short period of Bonacolsi's seigniory date back some important works such as the Bonacolsi Palace, the Podestà Palace, the Palace of Reason and the churches of San Lorenzo (the "Rotonda") and of Gradaro. Symbol of the Gonzaga seigniory is the Ducal Palace, one of the largest and most elaborate palaces in Italy, which contains about 500 rooms and halls with numerous squares, courtyards and gardens.