Mantova (Mantua) is the birthplace of opera. It is a city protected by three artifical lakes, surrounded by misty wetlands, anchored by UNESCO-listed Renaissance architecture and colored by a tyrannical history. Several massive palaces, cobblestoned streets, a well-preserved archway once used to torture criminals, and the church built on earth smeared with Christ's blood give this special city an otherworldly appeal. The Latin poet Virgil was born here in 70 BC. It is the setting for Verdi's opera Rigoletto. Shakespeare's Romeo heard of Juliet's death here, and also featured its ruling family of Gonzaga in Hamlet. Let the artist in you be swept away by the beauty of its sunsets. Step back in time and experience it with your soul mate!