Living in Italy means that we get to travel, often and fairly cheaply around Europe, as well as being a “stop-over” for many of our friends who come through here. Which is absolutely great, we get to share our world with whoever wants to experience it. Sadly their time is usually limited, and by limited I mean no more than 2/3 days.
Luckily, Pavia is not the biggest of cities and because being in Europe everything is fairly close together, walking distance. I know what you’re thinking.. walking distance is anything if you put your mind to it…. but really its all within about a 5 km radius. Which being on holiday, ins’t much, considering walking is the best way to experience the city anyway.
The first time I’ve ever lived out of Africa (where you generally drive cars everywhere) was when we moved to Pavia. My first day in Pavia, after a 24 hours of travelling, Angelo decided that it would be a good idea to show me EVERYTHING in one day….. in the rain. Now just to reiterate, I wasn’t particularly familiar with the amount of walking that Europeans do in general, so this was practically like running a marathon, in the rain, in heeled, uncomfortable boots. Lets just say it tested our marriage. Haha! The point is, we got it done. So yes, Pavia in a day is possible people, so put on your walking shoes and get to it!
I’m going to give you a list of all the things that you HAVE TO see while you are here, they are also things that we take our guests to see. Unbeknownst to me, Pavia is fairly famous when it comes to all of the incredible attractions around here, Albert Einstein loved it! (no joke)
So here it is, the list, in no particular order, just see it all if you can!
Duomo (Cathedral in Italian)
This is totally underrated, honestly, it’s one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen. It’s surrounded by beautiful little cafe’s, where you can enjoy a coffee, or pizza, or both. It’s also in the centre of the town, so it’s close to everything, if I’m honest, everything is close to everything.
It’s basically open all day, so you can walk in at any time and marvel at the beautiful marble floors and walls. The building was started in 1488 and was only completely finished in the 19th century. I’m not joking, check it out here.
Statua Della Minerva
Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare.
She is the statue that guards Pavia, the statue will more than likely be your first sight as you come into the city. It is said that she protects the city. There is also a myth, seeing as Pavia is a city largely populated by students, that if any student looks into her face before they graduate they never will. I mean, I’ve stared deeply into her eyes, I think I’m okay. Granted I have already graduated.
find more information about that statue here.
Long ago Pavia was “ruled” by a royal family, and this castle was quite literally their house. It belonged to the Visconti family who were The one side of the castles’ border wall, used to be the wall around Pavia. Obviously the city is a little bigger now… It is free to go into the courtyard of the castle, but to go up into the actual building itself, where there is also a small museum, you have to pay. Find out here
They occasionally have art galleries and events in the castle, which creates quite a nice environment. To be honest, usually we take our guests to see the outside, as well as the courtyard, it is equally as beautiful.
Ponto Coperto / Ponto Vecchio
This bridge dates back to 1354, it had to be built over a couple of times after it was damaged by the war. It is the only bridge in the whole of Italy that is “covered”, it has a roof over it. It also happens to have a small chapel in the middle of the bridge, which is honestly tiny, but it is still amazing to see.
Another really cool thing about this bridge, apart from the incredible picture that you can take there, is that there is a quote on a plague from Albert Einstein in 1947, explaining how much he loves Pavia and how much he can’t wait to visit it again. This is real life people, Albert Einstein loved my city so much he wrote a small letter about it. Have a look here, I’m not lying.
That’s it folks… Although there is much much more that I could tell you about, and obviously because we are in Europe there is history everywhere. Statues and incredible buildings are everywhere you look, if I had to sit here and write about them all it would take me a week.
All you really need to know is that Pavia is basically pretty famous, not in the same way that Milan is, but more old school historically famous. Ask any of our friends that have been to visit us and they will all tell you the same thing, Pavia is a little hidden gem of Italy, come and check it out with us!
P.S. I have been trying to engage with everyone on a much more personal level, as I feel like this blog, has less to do with me and much more to do with you, the reader. So please, if you ever feel like you want to hear or read something from either Angelo or I (granted Angelo’s study schedule) Please feel free to drop a message, comment or DM me on Instagram.