In May 2012 earthquakes reaching 5.9 on the Richter scale shook this part of Italy. No one was killed in Mantua, unlike nearby Parma but ancient buildings and frescoes around town, including the Palazzo Ducale and the Palazzo Te, were badly damaged. When you visit there is a possibility that some rooms or even entire buildings will be closed for restoration; check ahead with the tourist office.

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20 picturesque Christmas destinations

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Discovering Palermo: why you should give Sicily’s capital a chance

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