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Mantua (Italian: Màntova About this sound listen , in the local dialect of Emilian language Mantua) is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic,[1] cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the whole country itself. Mantua is noted for its significant role in the history of opera,[2] and the city is known for its several architectural treasures and artifacts, elegant palaces or palazzi, and its medieval and Renaissance cityscape. It is also the town to where Romeo was banished in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

Mantua is surrounded on three sides by artificial lakes created during the 12th century.[3] These receive the waters from the Mincio, which descend from Lake Garda. The three lakes are called Lago Superiore, Lago di Mezzo, and Lago Inferiore ("Superior", "Middle", and "Inferior" Lakes).[4] A fourth lake, Lake Pajolo, which once completed a defensive water ring of the city, dried up at the end of the 18th century.



A settlement existed as soon as around 2000 BC on the banks of the Mincio, on a sort of island which provided natural protection. In the 6th century BC it was an Etruscan village which, in Etruscan tradition, was re-founded by Ocnus[5].

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