I recommend doing a bit of research beforehand as, for example, one of the most revered sights, Palazzo Te, is actually in the "suburbs" of the city so we missed seeing it on our way in. It's actually quite touristy so make sure to check restaurants for authenticity before succumbing. We brought our usual panini and ate them on the fly, buying bread at a local bakery (yum!). If you're travelling through Italy and trying to be a bit more economical, it's a great way to go.
- Palazzo Ducale: Where one will find the famed frescos in the Camera degli Sposi by Andrea Mantegna. We unfortunately only walked around the outside and through the courtyards although you can pay to tour the various buildings.
- Piazza Sordello: Where you will find Palazzo Ducale, the piazza itself is quite lively and filled with people dining outside and lots of tourists taking selfies.
- The Duomo: Also conveniently located in Piazza Sordello.
- The Basilica of Sant'Andrea: Here is where the Relic of the Holy Blood is held and evidently it is brought out once a year on Good Friday which was the day we visited.
- Teatro Bibiena: Only from the outside, but it looks well worth the price of a ticket to see a performance during the music season.
- Panna Cotta and Caramelized Fig gelato at Gelateria Loggetta. Surprisingly I liked this more than the Fior di Latte which is their signature flavour and won them the "Oscar" of gelato in 2014. I realize it's rather ridiculous to say the highlight of a day is gelato in a place so historically relevent as Mantova but that's my travel style to tell you the truth. I generally remember amazing meals as opposed to amazing museums.