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Built between 1524 and 1535, and commissioned by Federico II Gonzaga, it is the most renowned work of Italian architect Giulio Romano.
The first evidence of the presence of the Tea factory dates back to 1526, when a building under construction is mentioned, located near the city, between the lakes, and on the road between Chiesa di San Sebastiano and Palazzo San Sebastiano.
The area was swamp and lake lands, but the Gonzaga family had it reclaimed, and Francesco II chose it as the place to train his prized and beloved horses.
When his father died and he became lord of Mantua, Federico II, his son, decided to transform the islet into a place of leisure and rest, and or sumptuous feasts with the most famous guests, where he could "escape" his institutional duties together with his lover, Isabella Boschetti.
Accustomed since his childhood to the luxury and refinement of Roman villas, he found an excellent interpreter of his idea of a "happy island" in the architect and painter Giulio Romano and his collaborators.
Alternating architectural elements with the natural elements the area had to offer, sublimely decorating rooms and façades, the architect expressed all his imagination and skill in the construction of Palazzo Te.
Emperor Charles V officially inaugurated Palazzo Te in 1530, and spent the whole day there.
During the ceremony, he also bestowed on Federico II Gonzaga the title of Duke, because up until that time the Gonzagas had been marquises.
The complex is currently home to the Civic Museum and, since 1990, of the Palazzo Te International Centre for Art and Culture, where exhibitions of ancient and modern art and of architecture are organised.
Palazzo Valenti Gonzaga
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