In 1524 Federico Gonzaga, Marquis and first Duke of Mantua, succeeded in calling to him Giulio Romano, the best pupil of Raphael. He started to work at the Palazzo Te in 1526 but work, particularly the decoration, continued until 1535. He was charged with restructuring the Gonzaga Stables making them in the shape of a great palace. The reference may have been the great rural estates of the Po plain.
The building was originally on an island and was separated from the town by the waters of the Fossa Magistrale, and there boat-races and parties on water were organized. It is composed of a large square with the courtyard and gardens, fountains, statues, avenues and buildings, ... a little town on the Te island.
The garden is bordered on the right by the long building of the Fruttiere, now used for exhibitions Since the great sack of 1630 it was occupied by Spanish, French, Austrian, Piemontese and used as a barracks. Gardens, fountains and the other little buildings were destroyed and the ground was levelled down to make room for the camps of the troops (officers were using the palace). Miraculously the main building survived and it was recently restored and restoration still goes on, so that the modern visitors can admire the splendour of the creativity of Giulio Romano. Eight main rooms, an yard of honour, a splendid loggia, a row of little rooms, the Fruttiere, now used for exhibitions and a "secret corner": the grotto. In the attic there is an interesting exhibition section were you can admire coins, seals, weights and measures and moulds used from 1307 to 1707. Up there are two special collections, donated to the town: the collection Mondadori -
Giorgi, a modern painting collection and 400 Egyptian and Roman objects, called collection Acerbi.
The Palace belongs to the Town.
Weddings in the rooms of Palazzo Te can be arranged.