Town in the province of Mantua, located along the right bank of the Mincio, at short distance from Lake Superiore, Curtatone has become notorious for having written one of the most painful pages of the First Italian War of Independence: The Battle of Curtatone (May 29, 1848 ) in which 6000 volunteers, mostly college students from Tuscany and Naples, clashed with 32,000 Austrian troops led by General Radetzky. In memory of the bloody battle remains today a memorial in district of Manara.
According to tradition, the origin of the name of Curtatone is attributed to the presence in the area, near the Mincio, of a Roman camp, established by the Console "Curtius Odonis.
Archaeological studies, however, have evidenced the presence of human settlements since the prehistoric times. Traces of pile-dwellings have been found near Buscoldo and Curtatone, where, in 1867 and 1870, cups of diorite of the prehistoric ages were found. These early inhabitants, originally of the Danube valley, lived here between the X and VII centuries B.C. and were replaced by the Etruscans, a Tuscany population, bearers of an advanced civilization. Always in the XIX century other finds of the Roman times were brought to light, as a burial tomb with grave goods from the times of Tiberius, a small cemetery of Augustus period and a wall with a plaque reminding the family Cassia Salustia.
Among the sites of interest, not to miss:
- The Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Lombard-Gothic style, built by Francesco I Gonzaga between 1399 and 1406 as a votive praying place during an outbreak of plague, entrusting the project to Bartolino from Novara. Inside it is possible to admire the mausoleum of the writer Baldassare Castiglione, who died in 1529, designed by Giulio Romano. Remarkable is also the furniture painting, with works by G. Bazzani, Lorenzo Costa il Giovane, Anton Maria and Gian Battista Viani, Lattanzio Gambara and others. Every year during the Feast of the Madonna delle Grazie (Lady of Grace) in the square in front of the shrine, the madonnari (chalk artists) meet to participate in the World famous contest, known as "gessetto d'oro" (the chalk master).
- The XVIII century Palazzo del Diavolo, in San Silvestro;
- Villa dei Vetri (XIX century).