It isn't easy to answer the question above. In fact, Italy has, among others, the beautiful baroque planned cities of Eastern Sicily, rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake.
Yet I am inclined to attribute to Sabbioneta the first place, for the very reason that has determined the decline itself: the features of a "visionary" person as Vespasiano Gonzaga, who had built it. You breathe in this walled city, along with the cult of beauty, typical of the Italian Renaissance, the melancholy inspired by the ongoing political decline of the Duchy of Mantua (and of the Italy as a whole country at the turn of the XVIth century).
We visited the Gallieria and other sites in Sabbioneta taking advantage of the so-called "UNESCO line", the public buses that during the spring and the autumn connect Mantua with Sabbioneta and return. They run on Saturday and on public holidays (and on other days also, by appointment of a group of at least eight people), allowing a half day trip. The individual rate, 8 euro, is moderate when you consider that it includes, besides the ride, the admission to all sights in Sabbioneta, as well as a tour illustrated (in Italian) by a guide very qualified and brilliant.
The bus departs in Mantua from Piazza Sordello (close to the Palazzo Ducale entrance) and makes a stop at the railway station. The tour can also be purchased when you get on the bus.
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