The Palazzo Te

Mirror of the Dolce Vita at Federico II court, the gentle first born of Isabella d’Este Gonzaga, cultured patron of Giulio Romano’s genius. Impudent celebration of himself and of Charles V imperial might.

Honesto Ocio - Honest Leisure

Palazzo Te is a large suburban villa by Giulio Romano (Rom, 1492/99 - Mantua, 1546) built, between 1525 and 1535, for Federico II Gonzaga (1500-1540) the 5th marquis of Mantua and then 1st duke.

It was built on an island of the Lake Paiolo (the fourth lake that closed the town of Mantua in the South) called Teieto (then abbreviated to Te). There are two likely theories regarding the meaning of the word Teieto: it may derive from tiglieto, linden tree wood, or tegia (from the Latin attegia) meaning hut.

It is built on a square plan, like the country villas of antiquity, with a central courtyard and a huge garden at the rear that ends with an exedra.

The purpose of the building is also clearly expressed in an inscription in the chamber of Psyche: this is a mansion for free time and enjoyment, for the honest leisure of the prince, whose energy is restored amid the peace and calm.

Palazzo Te was often used by the Gonzaga family to receive and honour important guests like Emperor Charles V, who stayed at the Palazzo Te on two occasions, in 1530 and 1532 and Henry III, king of France, who was received here in 1574. Are you looking for more information?



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