It is a city of Lombardy about 35 km south of Milan. The presence of a prestigious university founded in 1361 makes lively this quietly city. The old town, situated on a slope that descends gently toward the river Ticino, grew up on the geometric trace of the pre-existing Roman camp which can still be observed in the disposal of the urban blocks, arranged in a checkerboard.
Pavia had a first period of splendor in the late medieval era when the characteristics red-brick towers had been built. There still are few medieval towers nearby the Central University. There are also numerous Romanesque churches, including San Michele Maggiore, whose facade is completely carved in local sandstone, San Teodoro, where a fresco depicts the city in medieval times, and San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro, which takes its name from the golden stars on a lapis lazuli sky, and that holds the remains of Saint Augustine of Hippo.
In the eighteenth century there were built beautiful public buildings such as the Palace of the Central University and aristocratic palaces such as Palazzo Mezzabarba, actual Town Hall, Palazzo Vistarino Bellisomi, headquarters of the foundation Alma Ticinensis, and Palazzo Botta Adorno, occupied by the Museum of Natural Science of the University.
Other important monuments are the Covered Bridge, rebuilt after the Second World War on the side of the former Roman bridge, the Cathedral, the third largest dome of Italy, and the Broletto, the medieval town hall overlooking Piazza Grande (now Piazza della Vittoria).
THE CERTOSA OF PAVIA
Seven kilometers north of Pavia is the Certosa monastery, a great monument erected between the late fourteenth century and the middle of the fifteenth century in the extreme north-west of the castle park, according to the wishes of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who wanted to build a place of prayer and meditation and the family mausoleum.
The monastic complex, enclosed by a wall that surrounds the gardens, is composed of: the church, whose magnificent façade has a rich sculptural decoration in white and colored marble, the small cloister, with a porch with decorated capitals where are the entrances to the library and to the common areas of the Carthusian monks, and the large cloister, a large rectangle porticoed with 122 arches decorated where are the entrance to the 24 cells of the monks.
THE OLTREPÒ PAVESE
The Oltrepò Pavese is the territory of the Province of Pavia from the Po Valley on the right bank of the river Po, which rises gently between the hills covered with vineyards up to over 1700 MASL of Mount Lesima, in the Northern Apennines.
Strait between Piedmont (west) and Emilia-Romagna (east) is a territory rich in natural sites, such as the coves of the river Trebbia, Mount Penice and pass of Brallo, and charming historical villages as Fortunago , Cigognola and Zavattarello, is also renowned for its wine production with numerous wineries specialized in the production of fine wines and sparkling wines.