Our region, Lombardy, today holds for us a wonderful surprise: have you ever heard about Pavia’s beauty? Today we want to introduce you this city. Pavia, that in the past was known as Ticinum, was very important during the Roman and Longobard period and also during Middle Ages and Renaissance has preserved all its charm. Are you ready for a walk to discover the “walled city”?
What could you see in the historic center of Pavia.
Get to the old town and leave your car in a car park: now it starts your day. Head to Piazza della Vittoria, which is the real city center. This square was built in the fourteenth century, it was born with the name of Piazza Grande. It has always been the center of the city’s life and is highly representative of theVisconti’s power, (they were the city’s lords). It is famous for its magnificent arcade and very old and beautiful buildings, such as the Broletto and “Casa dei diversi”.
To the north of the square you can visit the Romanesque church of S. Maria Gualtieri, while to the south you can see the magnificent cathedral built by Ascanio Sforza, designed by Bramante with the Leonardo da Vinci’s advice. The Cathedral, after thousand vicissitudes, was completed only in the nineteenth century. Other things not to miss? The Santa Maria del Carmine church in Gothic style, the Palazzo Malaspina, the Castle, the San Michele Maggiore’s Basilica, where Frederick Barbarossa was crowned, the ancient university and its medieval towers in Piazza Leonardo da Vinci (last remnant of 150 towers that characterized Pavia, that was known as “the 100 towers city”).
During your walk you have to dedicate absolutely a stage to the Ticino River and its covered bridge of the fourteenth century, characterized by 100 granite pillars, with which you can reach Borgo Ticino on the other side. In short, many many ideas for your day, which is absolutely not over here. Because now I want to tell you about the big piece of Pavia, its most famous monument: the Certosa.
Certosa di Pavia
The location was strategic: halfway between Milan and Pavia, the capital and the second most important city. For this reason the Visconti decided to build here their Certosa. It was a vote done by his second wife Caterina Visconti to give a thanks for a grace received. Her first pregnancy went wrong: a daughter was born and died. For the second birth, she vowed to build a Certosa in Pavia if she survived. The baby was born dead, but Caterina was saved and she kept the vow.
The Certosa di Pavia is an extraordinary monument with a lot of styles: dedicate a few hours to admire the beauty of its marbles and decorations. The August 27, 1396 was laid the first stone and then the monastery grew little by little protected from the woods. The façade, done with marble, was designed piece after piece by sculptors and architects, with angels, kings and statues of saints. A true triumph of frescoes, gold, lapis lazuli and lacquers waiting for you upon entering. The central nave will welcome you with intricate astral geometries and stars, gold on blue. The art of this monument is truly unique: bas-reliefs and famous paintings as the “Eternal Father Blessing” by Perugino and figures painted by the ancient Carthusian, that look from above by windows with trompe-l’oil. In short, a real jewel of art awaits you in this magnificent monastery.
Visit the Certosa di Pavia: more informations
First, it is fundamental to inform you about opening hours, because a visit to this Certosa during your day trip to Pavia is really important: on this website http://www.certosadipavia.com/turismo/index.htm you can find all relevant information such as hours and days of opening. This monument has got its charm in all seasons: the romantic with fog in autumn, while taking the warm colors of the sun in summer. I will suggest you visit it several times, just to be able to grasp all the nuances.
I hope these info are helping you to organize your day trip in Pavia and its Certosa, we are waiting for you at the Hotel Posta in spring, as always, with a smile!