Top things to do

Top Choice Monastery in Pavia

Certosa di Pavia

One of the Italian Renaissance's most notable buildings is the splendid Certosa di Pavia. Giangaleazzo Visconti of Milan founded the monastery, 10km north of Pavia, in 1396 as a private chapel and mausoleum for the …
Top Choice Italian in Pavia

La Torre degli Aquila

It is almost worth a trip to Pavia just to eat in Dimo and Maria's medieval tower. Although rooted in tradition, the sensational cooking is highly creative. Homemade pistachio bread is followed by tender black bean …
University in Pavia

Università degli Studi di Pavia

The University of Pavia was established in 1361 by Galeazzo II Visconti, although there had been a school of divinity here as early as 825. The oldest colleges, dating from the 16th century, are the Collegio Borrome…
Museum in Pavia

Museo per la Storia dell'Università di Pavia

Pavia's venerable university is one of the oldest in Europe and is still a thriving seat of learning. Architects Piermarini (author of La Scala) and Pollack had a hand in its neoclassical restoration under Austrian …
Cathedral in Pavia

Duomo

Dominating the town centre is Pavia's red-brick Duomo, topped by the third largest dome in Italy. Leonardo da Vinci and Donato Bramante contributed to the design, which was begun in 1488 but was not completed until …
Basilica in Pavia

Basilica di San Michele

Pavia's most important church isn't the Duomo, but the beautiful Romanesque San Michele, where medieval Lombard kings came to receive their iron crown and where Barbarossa was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1155. Don…
Lombard in Pavia

Antica Osteria del Previ

Located in the Borgo Ticino, the menu at this rustic osteria (think gauze curtains, a terracotta tiled floor and pink silky napkins) is well-rooted in the territory. Expect superlative risotto with seasonal asparagu…
Theatre in Pavia

Teatro Fraschini

Pavia's beautiful baroque theatre was conceived by one of the greatest stage designers of the 18th century, Antonio Galli Bibiena. It's bell-shaped parterre and stuccoed and frescoed interior makes for a memorable e…
Castle in Pavia

Castello Visconteo

Looming over the old town is the red-brick Castello Visconteo, built in 1360 for Galeazzo II Visconti. Inside the forbidding ramparts is an enormous walled garden, where art exhibits and wine tastings are held in sp…
Gardens in Pavia

Orto Botanico

Wander around the historic botanical garden when the Università degli Studi di Pavia is open. It's situated on an area once covered by the convent of Sant'Epifanio, and the outlines of the cloister are still visible…