Pavia Things to Do

  • Athena/Minerva.
    Athena/Minerva.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Athena/Minerva.
    Athena/Minerva.
    by IreneMcKay
  • The University of Pavia.
    The University of Pavia.
    by IreneMcKay

Best Rated Things to Do in Pavia

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    Santa Maria del Carmine

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Oct 25, 2006

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    The church of Santa Maria del Carmine is a wonderful example of North Italian gothic made with red bricks. It was built in 1273 and it is the second biggest church of the town after the Duomo. The interior has got three naves.

    Santa Maria del Carmine Santa Maria del Carmine Santa Maria del Carmine Santa Maria del Carmine Santa Maria del Carmine
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    San Michele Maggiore

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Oct 25, 2006

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    The church of San Michele Maggiore is the most important Medieval religious building of the town. It is a masterpiece of the Romanesque Lombardo with many testimonies of the time in which Pavia was the capital of the Lombards Reign. The church was built in the 9th century and it was made in sandstone. In this church Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, became emperor.

    San Michele Maggiore San Michele Maggiore: a particular San Michele Maggiore: a particular San Michele Maggiore San Michele Maggiore: the crypt
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    Certosa di Pavia

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Oct 25, 2006

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    The Certosa di Pavia is one of the most important monastery complex of Lombardy. It is located about 8 Km north of the downtown of Pavia. It was built from 1396 and you can find many masterpieces of arts.

    More information on my Certosa di Pavia page.

    Certosa di Pavia Certosa di Pavia Certosa di Pavia Certosa di Pavia Certosa di Pavia
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    Duomo

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Oct 25, 2006

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    The Duomo is most important church of Pavia. The work for its construction began in 1488, and the structure was incomplete until 1898, when the facade and the cupola was finished on the original designer made by Giovanni Antonio Amedeo. The central cupola is 97 meters high and it it the third biggest cupola of Italy.
    The interior is under restoration today.

    Duomo Duomo Duomo Duomo
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    Ponte coperto

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Oct 25, 2006

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    The covered bridge of Pavia is one of the bridges over the Ticino River. The Ponte Coperto was built between 1351 and 1354. It was destroyed during the second world war, and what you see now is a copy of the original one built in 1950.

    Ponte coperto Ponte coperto Ponte coperto Ponte coperto Ponte coperto
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    University

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Oct 25, 2006

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    The university of Pavia was founded in 1361 by Galeazzo II. The buildings of the university was built by Ludovico il Moro in 1490. In the library there are some ashes of Cristoforo Colombo who studied in Pavia.
    In this place Alessandro Volta made some elettricity experiments.

    University University University
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    Medieval Towers

    by Cristian_Uluru Updated Oct 25, 2006

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    Pavia was known as the town of 1000 towers. Today you can see only three of them. They are very high and thiner than the ones of San Gimignano.
    In the town there are some other tower but they are small because after the death of the owner they were cut!!

    Medieval Towers Medieval Towers Medieval Towers Medieval Towers Medieval Towers
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    Castello Visconteo

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Oct 25, 2006

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    The castle of Pavia was built in 1360 by Galeazzo II Visconti. In the past it had got a very wide park that arrived to the Certosa di Pavia. In the castle there is the Pinacoteca Malaspina.

    Castello Visconteo Castello Visconteo Castello Visconteo Castello Visconteo Castello Visconteo: the courtyard
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    Ponte Coperto

    by leics Written Mar 20, 2011

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    Pavia's Medieval 'covered bridge' was destroyed by bombing in the Second World War but reconstructed in the 1940s.

    It's worth walking down to the river to see the bridge, even though it's 'new'...some of its columns are from the old bridge.

    You can see the stumps of the Medieval bridge slightly upriver. It was built in the early 1300s, on the base of a much earlier Roman bridge. In the middle of the river one of the roman granite bases is still visible, if the water is not too high.

    The little chapel at the centre of the bridge holds a wooden statue of St John Nepomuk which was fished out of the river after the bombings and restored.

    Ponte Coperto Medieval remains Roman bridge base St John Nepomuk River and ex-bridges
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    Castello Visconteo

    by satara Written Apr 4, 2006

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    A nice castle remembering the duke Visconti period in Pavia. There are some permanent exhibitions there and time to time they make some temporary exhibitions of photography and various visual arts in the old stables of the castle.

    castle of Visconti in Pavia

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    Do wander the streets...

    by leics Written Mar 20, 2011

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    Pavia retains far more of its Medieval buildings and street layout than I had expected to find.

    As you wander and explore keep your eyes open not only for the 'stumps' of the many tower houses which once existed (and the few which still stand) but also for little glimpses of ancient buildings poking out from their more modern refurbishment. I've seen this is several places I've visited recently (not just in Italy); I like the idea of recognising a building's history by leaving some of its ancient features exposed.

    Always look up, because it is at the upper levels you are most likely to see e.g. Medieval windows. Explore the narrower alleyways...you never know what you will find at the end of them.

    I noticed quite a lot of blue plaques on various structures around the town...Pavia is clearly proud of its history. Although in Italian they give dates in Roman numerals, so you can see if a house dates from e.g. the 1400s.

    I especially liked the area to the west of the Duomo leading down to San Teodoro and then back towards the Ticino and its covered bridge, but all of central Pavia is worth exploring.

    Once a tower house? Or just very old indeed? Exposed Medieval window. Medieval building. Medieval wall..
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    How many towers can you spot?

    by leics Written Mar 20, 2011

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    I haven't been able to find a definitive number for the still-existing towers and tower 'stumps' in Pavia, though I'm certain it exists.

    The town must have been astonishing when its towers were all standing...see the San Teodoro tip below for an 'aerial-view' fresco created at that time.

    The 'Tre Torre', near the university, give an idea of how it once was...the three of them are so incredibly tall and so incredibly close together.

    But I liked spotting the 'stumps' as well. I passed the first on my walk from the station, along Corso Cavour, but I noticed several more on my wanderings and I'm sure I must have missed others.

    I know towers were a status symbol of the time in other places and countries as well (e.g. Regensburg in Germany) but I am intrigued as to why Pavia once had quite so many of them. Or perhaps I'm looking at it the wrong way round: perhaps other places once had just as many, but for some reason Pavia became particularly famous for its towers?

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    San Teodoro

    by leics Updated Mar 20, 2011

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    San Teodoro is south-west of the Duomo, towards the river, and well worth seeking out. It's in the oldest part of Pavia, where the Roman settlement once was.

    Dating from the 1100s, and still obviously ancient despite subsequent restorations, this smallish church impressed me greatly.

    It has the most superb 16th century (1500s) fresco by Bernadino Lanazani showing Pavia as it was in 1522...an almost-aerial view, with the 'hundred towers' clearly shown along with all the houses and streets.

    Several pillars are decorated with frescos of saints, dating to the 1200s are really rather attractive. The crypt has wonderful capitals which seemed to me to be much earlier in style than the 13th century construction date...I wonder if they were re-used from the older building?

    Excavations have uncovered parts of the mosaic floors of the original church (dedicated to St Agnes, apparently, and perhaps dating from the 700-800s) on whose foundations the existing church was built. They are covered in glass and difficult to photograph but their style has a very clear Roman influence.

    Definitely a place to seek out.

    Pavia in 1522 Exterior Frescoes Capital Mosaic
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    La lavandaia

    by satara Written Apr 4, 2006

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    That's a monument on the another bank of Ticino river for all the women who used to wash the clothes on the river at the beginning of this century (or maybe even earlier). If you're lucky to be followed by some local Pavese who understands the old Pavese dialect, maybe you will get a translation of the poem written on the monument.

    monument to lavandaia in Pavia

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    University courtyards

    by satara Written Apr 4, 2006

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    The university is a beautiful old building with internal courtyards, stairs, magnolia trees, monuments for famous Pavia and Italy people and.... a paradise for bikes as most of the students use the bike to move around in the town.

    bikes in university of Pavia
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