Mantua is located south of Lake Garda and has three small lakes fed by the river Mincio, which originates in Lake Garda. One of the first things to do in Mantua is to visit the Ducal Palace and its 500 rooms painted and decorated by artists such as Giulio Romano, Raphael and Mantegna. With many buildings linked by corridors and galleries, courtyards and gardens, this beautiful place is like a true city-palace and covers about 35 thousand square meters. Near to the Ducal Palace is Piazza delle Erbe where you can find two other splendid buildings: Palazzo della Ragione and Palazzo del Podesta (1227), one of the oldest public buildings from the city's medieval era. Don't miss out on the distinctive fifteenth-century clock tower, Torre dell’Orologio, which sits next to these two buildings. To the east is the magnificent Palazzo Te, one of the most beautiful places in Mantua. It is surrounded by nature and was conceived as a place of leisure and high society for Duke Federico II Gonzaga. Among the religious places to visit are; the Duomo (or St. Peter's Cathedral) with its Romanesque bell tower, and its Gothic right side and Neoclassical facade; and the Basilica of Sant'Andrea designed by Leon Battista Alberti, which houses works by Mantegna, Correggio and Giulio Romano. Near Piazza delle Erbe are two other beautiful buildings: Palazzo della Ragione and Palazzo del Podestà (1227), one of the oldest public buildings from the medieval era. Alongside the two palaces don't miss out on the distinctive fifteenth-century clock tower, Torre dell’Orologio. Mantua is famous for being the birthplace of the poet Virgil and for being the setting of the renowned opera, "Rigoletto", by Giuseppe Verdi.