There have been a couple spontaneous decisions during this little trip, one of them being our final destination. When we asked for suggestions before leaving Bellagio, the waiter, hotel manager and pool guy unanimously agreed we should visit Mantua (Mantova in Italian.) So we set off. Before today, all I knew about Mantua was that Romeo was forced to move there after killing Tybalt. But now I also know that roast donkey is the local specialty. And I know what it tastes like, too.
As soon as we arrived, we booked a tour with Daniele. He’s a guide we found on the internet. The first stop was the Cathedral of Sant’ Andrea. This is a pretty big church for such a small town. But there’s a good reason. Daniele explained: Back when Jesus was nailed to the cross, some drops of blood fell to the earth. They were later collected in a jar and brought to Mantua. This church was built to house the holy relics. Unfortunately the containers were lost over the years. But fortunately, they were found again in a different area in Mantua. And so another cathedral was built.
We didn’t get to see the blood because there was an earthquake last May and many of the rooms which display art and artifacts are under renovation. But we’ll be back because this was one of our favorite Italian towns so far. I loved the tiny winding streets, the four interconnecting piazzas, the pumpkin tortelloni, the sparking red wine , and the lady who owns the hotel where we stayed. Our one-night excursion turned into two. But I would have liked to stay for a week.
On Sunday evening, our northern Italian trip ended. We arrived home to find a dead bat on the living room floor. Later that night, the power went out. Matt was able to find the fuse box on the ground floor while I stayed in the apartment. We communicated with text messages until the proper switch was flipped. And after hiking back up six flight of stairs, it went off again. It was definitely time to open that souvenire bottle of lambrusco we brought back from Mantua.