Wonder  }  Architecture

The Garden Palace of Sabbioneta

The Villa di delizia of Vespasiano Gonzaga is a hymn to classical antiquity.

Automatically translated page.

Where is


Via della Stamperia, 18, 46018 Sabbioneta MN, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

In Sabbioneta, Palazzo Giardino overlooks Piazza delle Armi, acting as its backdrop, and is connected on the left to the Galleria degli Antichi. It was the private residence of Vespasiano Gonzaga. Here the duke retired from the affairs of government and devoted himself to the leisure and studies he so loved. On the outside, the palace has a dim appearance, but inside it hides a series of masterpieces.

Why it is special: Greco-Roman inspiration.

Inside we find some 20 halls, small rooms and passageways, all inspired by Vespasian's great passion, Greco-Roman antiquity; the ensemble is one of great richness, adorned with elegant fresco decorations, stuccoes and grotesques. Directing the work was the greatest of the artists who worked in Sabbioneta, namely Bernardino Campi from Cremona , who also created most of the paintings. The outdoor garden was also created under Campi's supervision: a square-shaped green space crisscrossed by checkerboard paths, once brightened by water features.

Not to be missed: Greek myths on the ceilings

Particularly fascinating is the Hall of Philemon and Baucis, with a ceiling frescoed by Campi and stucco frames surrounding the Fornarino lunettes. On one of the walls is a monochrome fresco of a square in perspective that is very reminiscent of the setting of the Theater of the Ancients. Another beautiful room is that of the myths with a rare myth at the center, that of Saturn and Philira. Saturn, caught by Rhea in flagrante adultery, escapes by transforming himself into a horse. Filira later gives birth to Chiron, half man and half horse. Also delightful is the barrel-vaulted corridor of Orpheus and the stories of Orpheus on the walls. Finally, do not forget the four splendid Flemish landscapes found in the Hall of Mirrors.

A bit of history

The palace was begun in 1579, when Vespasian returned from the Spanish court where he had served King Philip II as military commander and where he had won great honors. It was finished in 1588.

Fun fact: the palace becomes a set

A number of scenes from the TV series "The Medici" were filmed at Palazzo Giardino and the Galleria degli Antichi, with a nice temporal incongruity: Sabbioneta at the time of the narrated events was not even in Vespasian's dreams yet...

1 person liked


In the Community

Ciao , share photos and emotions about this Wonder

The Map thanks:

Recommended by
Patrizia Iome

Beautiful visit to an intact space where everything brings back the Renaissance.


Give the gift of a SharryLand Trip!
With the Gift Card it's that easy!