Not too far from the most known Shakespearian lovers’ city, Mantua combines anything you may want when touring a city: prestigious history, stunning monuments, natural sights, silence and calm and a lot of tasty food and recipes!
Dating back to the Etruscan age, Mantua owe its splendor mainly to the Gonzaga family, who ruled the city between the 14th and the early 18th century. Thanks to them, you will be impressed by the Duomo, the Castle, the Ducale Palace with its Camera degli sposi (bridal chamber), a room frescoed by the famous Italian painter Andrea Mantegna. You can also visit his house and many churches, like Saint Andrew church, Saint Sebastian one, and Saint Barbara cathedral, just to name a few. Afterwards, the city could enjoy another wave of artistic activity pushed by the empress Maria Theresa of Austria.
Mantua Sant'Andrea Interior
If you are more attracted by nature than monuments and history, then you can go sightseeing all around the city by riding your cycle. It’s heartily recommended to stop and take a breath in front of the lake that laps against most of the city or in the Mincio Nature Reserve, where picnicking is possible.
In regards to food, Mantua’s specialties won’t impress you less. These include pumpkin tortelli, salami and salamella (a sausage), rice alla pilota, all of this accompanied by a wide range of wines: Pinot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Lambrusco.
Today, we’ll make the riso alla pilota, that’s a rice dish which rice workers, called piloti – because they were assigned to rice pilatura (husking), a process consisting in cleaning rice up – used to eat.
Here’s what you need:
According to the traditional recipe, tip rice into boiling and salted water, but pay attention: rice must be slowly dropped and has to create a pyramid whose top emerges from water. Let it cook for 10-12 minutes till water is absorbed. Turn the gas off, put a napkin on rice (actually touching it), cover with a lid and put aside for 10 minutes, shaking the pot every now and then to detach rice grains. In the meanwhile, melt butter in a pan, add the salamella mashing and browning it a bit. Add this mix to rice and stir. Sprinkle Grana Padano cheese and you’re done!
In the past beans were the meat of the poors: beans have always had many nutritional and energetic qualities.
Have you ever turned into jujube liquor?
Let’s profit from this season’s veggies.