Sabbioneta was founded by will of Vespasiano Gonzaga Colonna (ab urbe condita, 1556 – 1591), a condottiere, enlightened and cultivated prince and a scholar of Vitruvius. It was the capital city of the tiny Gonzaga duchy: well protected by the ramparts of the strong, star-shaped walls whose project is attributed to Vespasiano himself, Sabbioneta was also a modern hub for art and culture, a sort of “small Athens”. The walls still guard the checkerboard urban structure as well as the sophisticated XVI century buildings. Among the most interesting parts, the gateways called Imperiale and della Vittoria, the Galleria degli Antichi, the Theatre, the Palazzo Ducale – the first major building ever built in Vespasiano’s new city – and the archpriest church of Santa Maria Assunta. Other noteworthy landmarks are the “Casino” or Palazzo Giardino, the duke’s otium sanctuary, the Colonna della dea Pallade, a statue of Adrian or Anton age purchased on the antiquity market by Vespasiano; the church of Incoronata, a Ducal mausoleum where in the summer of 1988 the restoration works unveiled the tomb of Vespasiano Gonzaga.