The town was founded presumably around 2000 BC on the shores of Mincio[?] river, a sort of island among its waters (an indeed safe natural protection), and in the 6th century BC was an Etruscan village that Etruscan tradition described as re-founded by Oscno[?]. The name derives from Mantus, an Etruscan god of Hades. Romans, that conquered it between the first and the second Punic wars, confused Mantus with Manto, a daughter of Tyresia[?]. Publius Virgilius Maro, Virgil, was born here (Mantua me genuit).
Mantua was invaded (after the decay of Roman Empire) by Goths, Byzantines[?], Longobards and Franks, then it became a possession of Canossa[?], whose latest ruler was the famous countess Matilde of Canossa[?] (d. 1115). According to the legend, she ordered the construction of the precious "Rotonda di San Lorenzo"  (http://www.mynet.it/mantova/turismo/storiamn/origini/rotonda/slortor4.jpg).
In the Middle Ages, Mantua was ruled by several families which became extremely important in the history and in the culture of Italy, among which the Bonacolsi[?] and the Corradi di Gonzaga (or, briefly, Gonzaga - 1328-1708).
Notably, the town contains many artworks and architectural treasures that record its important epoch: the Duomo, the Palazzo Ducale, the Magna Domus, the Palazzo del Capitano, the Palazzo Vescovile, the Palazzo degli Uberti, the Castle of St. George, the Palazzo Castiglioni (or Palazzo Bonacolsi), the Tower of the Gabbia, the Palazzo del Podestà, are all examples of a unique patrimony in patrician buildings and in Italian architecture[?], but the most important testimony of this skill is undoubtedly the Palazzo Te.
Palazzo Te (1525-1535) is a creation of Giulio Romano[?] (who lived in Mantua in his latest years), meant as the residential villa of Frederick II of Gonzaga[?], in the style of mature Renaissance and with some recalls of a certain post-Raphaelian mannerism. It hosts the Museo Civico (with the donations of Arnoldo Mondadori[?], the most important Italian publisher, and Ugo Sissa[?], a Mantuan architect that worked in Iraq from where he brought back important Mesopotamian artworks).
Austria conquered Mantua after the chute of Gonzaga (of this period are the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts and the Scientific Theatre), then the town passed under Napoleon's domain and was later unified in Italy by the king of Sardinia.
Patron saint is Anselm of Lucca, the Younger[?].
September 2, 2002 - December 8, 2002: At Palazzo Te, the "Celeste Galeria", The Museum of Mantua's Dukes across Mantegna, Rubens, Guido Reni  (http://www.centropalazzote.it/ita/mostra_card.asp?ID=25)