Founded by the Romans as a military garrison, Pavia has long been a strategic city both geographically and politically. It sits at the centre of an agricultural plain (hence its ugly periphery), it is an important provincial political player with strong Lega Nord leanings, and its university is considered one of the best in Italy, with previous alumni including explorer Christopher Columbus, physicist Alessandro Volta and poet and revolutionary Ugo Foscolo.
Aside from its vibrant atmosphere (Instituto Universitario di Studi Superiori, IUSS, is a partner in over 300 international exchange programs), Pavia’s historic centre preserves a clutch of worthwhile sights including, to the north of the city, the legendary Carthusian monastery Certosa di Pavia.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Pavia.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Pavia.