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Pavia - University Town.

City of a Hundred Towers.

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Silhouette of the Certosa di Pavia. - Pavia

Silhouette of the Certosa di Pavia. - Pavia

Pavia.

Pavia was another place suggested to me on a VT forum. It's a great town; easy to get to from Milan; not over touristy and with beautiful churches, a lovely atmospheric university, tall towers, a castle and a river. Who could ask for more?

Pavia is a town in Lombardy, located 35 kilometres, around 22 miles, south of Milan. It is situated on the Ticino River near where it flows into the River Po. Pavia's population is around 71,000. From 568 to 774 Pavia was the capital of the Kingdom of the Lombards. Pavia produces cereals, rice, dairy products and wine. It is a university town.

We got to Pavia by train from Rogoredo Station in about 28 minutes. The stop before Pavia is the stop for the famous Certosa di Pavia which you can see out of the right side of the train on the way into Pavia. It was an easy walk from the train station into the old town. We wandered around the courtyards of the university, saw the nearby towers, visited the castle, doubled back to go to the duomo and Piazza della Vittoria, strolled to the River Ticino and the beautiful covered bridge, sadly missed San Michele's Church, though I did see a sign to it, admired the lovely San Teodore's Church with its colourful wall paintings. Then after all that we took the train to the Certosa di Pavia. It had looked close to the train station, but the entrance is far away ­ around 20 ­to 25 minutes walk. We got in shortly before closing time so could only admire the buildings from the outside.

Athena/Minerva Statue

There is a large statue of Athena on the main roundabout in Pavia, not far from the train station. She is holding a shield with a Medusa head on it in one hand and a spear in the other.

Athena/Minerva. - Pavia

Athena/Minerva. - Pavia

Athena/Minerva. - Pavia

Athena/Minerva. - Pavia

The University of Pavia.

The University of Pavia was founded in 1361 and consists of nine faculties. In 1858, the University was the scene of violent student protests against Austrian rule in northern Italy. Following these protests the university was temporarily shut down by the local authorities. The famous physicist Alessandro Volta held the chair of natural philosophy at Pavia University from 1769 until 1804. His statue adorns one of the university's courtyards. I thought it was a lovely building to wander around with its yellow walls and statue-filled courtyards.

The University of Pavia. - Pavia

The University of Pavia. - Pavia

The University of Pavia. - Pavia

The University of Pavia. - Pavia

The University of Pavia. - Pavia

The University of Pavia. - Pavia

The University of Pavia. - Pavia

The University of Pavia. - Pavia

The University of Pavia. - Pavia

The University of Pavia. - Pavia

Volta statue, University of Pavia. - Pavia

Volta statue, University of Pavia. - Pavia

Tower Houses. ­

When we exited the back of the university onto Piazza Da Vinci, we were confronted by several tall towers. Pavia was once known as the city of one hundred towers. The first towers to be built were communal ones. Then wealthy families began to build their own private towers, vying with each other to see whose was the tallest. In 1989 the civic tower next to Pavia's cathedral suddenly fell down killing four people and injuring fifteen.

Towers. - Pavia

Towers. - Pavia

Towers. - Pavia

Towers. - Pavia

Towers. - Pavia

Towers. - Pavia

Castelo Visconteo.

Castle Visconteo was built by Galeazzo II Visconti in 1360, soon after he captured the city. The castle was designed by architect Bartolino da Novara. Visconteo Castle was once the main residence of the Visconti family. The castle now houses several exhibitions. There was a Monet exhibition on when we visited. We just viewed the building from the outside and wandered around its central courtyard.

Castelo Visconteo - Pavia

Castelo Visconteo - Pavia

Statue outside Castelo Visconteo. - Pavia

Statue outside Castelo Visconteo. - Pavia

Castelo Visconteo - Pavia

Castelo Visconteo - Pavia

Castelo Visconteo - Pavia

Castelo Visconteo - Pavia

Statue outside Castelo Visconteo. - Pavia

Statue outside Castelo Visconteo. - Pavia

Pavia Castle. - Pavia

Pavia Castle. - Pavia

Piazza Della Vittoria.

This is the main square of Pavia. Its name translates as Victory Square and refers to Italy's victory in the first world war. However, locals often refer to it as Piazza Grande meaning big square. On the south side of the square stands the Broletto, an ancient medieval town hall, with a huge clock. The back of Pavia's ­cathedral ­ is visible from here. During our visit much of the centre of the square had been converted into an ice-skating rink and was being enjoyed by several children.

Piazza Della Vittoria. - Pavia

Piazza Della Vittoria. - Pavia

Piazza Della Vittoria. - Pavia

Piazza Della Vittoria. - Pavia

Piazza Della Vittoria. - Pavia

Piazza Della Vittoria. - Pavia

The Duomo - cathedral.

Construction of Pavia Cathedral began in the 15th century. The cathedral apparently houses the remains of St. Sirus, who was the first Bishop of Pavia, and a thorn from the Crown of Thorns worn by Christ when he was crucified. The Civic Tower ­- Torre Civica ­ which stood next to the cathedral collapsed on March 17 1989 killing four people and injuring fifteen. The cathedral was closed during our visit. There is an equestrian statue on Cathedral Square outside the duomo.

Cathedral Square. - Pavia

Cathedral Square. - Pavia

Pavia Cathedral. - Pavia

Pavia Cathedral. - Pavia

Ponte Coperto.

Ponte Coperto means covered bridge. It is also known as the Ponte Vecchio or Old Bridge. This bridge spans the Ticino River. The original bridge, which dated from 1354, was destroyed by allied bombing in 1945. Construction of a replacement bridge began in 1949. In the centre of the bridge there is a little chapel.

Ponte Coperto. - Pavia

Ponte Coperto. - Pavia

Ponte Coperto. - Pavia

Ponte Coperto. - Pavia

Ponte Coperto. - Pavia

Ponte Coperto. - Pavia

River Ticino. - Pavia

River Ticino. - Pavia

Washer-woman statue near the bridge. - Pavia

Washer-woman statue near the bridge. - Pavia

San Teodore - Chiesa San Teodoro.

The church of San Teodoro is called after a bishop who ran the Diocese of Pavia around AD 774. Inside the building there are marvellous sixteenth century frescoes depicting the miracles worked by St Theodore. In the nave you can see the famous fresco showing Pavia with many towers just as it appeared in 1522. I thought this church was incredibly beautiful and really enjoyed its paintings and miniature nativity scene.

San Teodore. - Pavia

San Teodore. - Pavia

San Teodore - Pavia

San Teodore - Pavia

San Teodore. - Pavia

San Teodore. - Pavia

Certosa di Pavia.

The Certosa di Pavia is a monastery 8 km north of Pavia. It was built between 1396 and 1495. At one time it was located on the border of a large hunting park belonging to the Visconti family who occupied Pavia's castle. Certosa means a cloistered house of the monastic Carthusian Order. This order was founded in 1044 by Saint Bruno at Grande Chartreuse. To get there we got off the train at Certosa di Pavia Station. The complex is surrounded by walls and, although it is near the station, you have to walk for around 20 to 25 minutes round the walls to reach the entrance. We just made it in time to be allowed into the grounds of the complex but not inside the buildings themselves.

Certosa di Pavia. - Pavia

Certosa di Pavia. - Pavia

Certosa di Pavia - Pavia

Certosa di Pavia - Pavia

Countryside near Certosa di Pavia. - Pavia

Countryside near Certosa di Pavia. - Pavia

Certosa di Pavia - Pavia

Certosa di Pavia - Pavia

Certosa di Pavia. - Pavia

Certosa di Pavia. - Pavia

Posted by irenevt 18:53 Archived in Italy

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Comments

I just love the cobblestone courtyards. They're pretty and you don't have to weed them. ;)

The Certosa was beautiful. A shame you couldn't get in the buildings. Next trip . . .

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally, yes next trip, whenever that is.

by irenevt

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