Palazzo Bianchi, also known as Palazzo Vescovile (Episcopal Palace), is a palace located in Mantua, in Piazza Sordello, in front of the Ducal Palace, between the Cathedral of San Pietro and Ca’ degli Uberti.
A first building on this site belonged to the Agnelli family, who ceded it to Rinaldo Bonacolsi at the beginning of the 14th century.
With the sack of Mantua of 1630, which took place during the War of the Mantuan Succession, the building suffered extensive damage, and some parts of it were demolished.
When the noble Negri family, which owned the palace since 1582, became extinct, the property was inherited by the Porta family.
The current appearance of the palace dates back to the middle of the 18th century, when it was built by Count Guido Porta, replacing two pre-existing buildings. The count sold it in 1756 to the Marquis Giuseppe Bianchi.
The construction works ended in 1765, when a spectacular staircase was added. Around the same time, Giuseppe Bazzani frescoed the vaulted ceilings on the first floor.
In 1814, an internal courtyard and an attic were added, and the facade of the palace was adorned with a coat of arms and statues of classical divinities.
The palace was sold to the diocese in 1824 by the Marquis Alessandro Bianchi. In 1967, the bishop Antonio Poma created a room in the basement of the palace for the diocesan historical archive.
Today, Palazzo Bianchi houses the bishop’s residence and the offices of the Curia.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo Bianchi is located about 1.3 kilometers away from the Mantua railway station. The closest bus stop, Duomo, is located in the northeastern corner of Piazza Sordello, about 80 meters away, on the bus Lines 4C, 4S, 4T, 6 and 12. To find the palace on foot, use the map below.