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guida ufficiale della Provincia di Pavia

The Lands of Kings

This itinerary will lead you first of all through the sights of Pavia, capital of the Longobard Kingdom, starting with the rediscovery of their art through the utilisation of their monumental materials in later historical periods. A tour in search of the buildings that recall the presence of this ancient population and their ancient capital, culminating in the more recent cultural and artistic expressions that they have inspired in order to tell the story of the city. Our journey starts in Pavia, a city that – quietly, stealthily, secretly – will cast its spell over you.

Pavia is truly a city of secrets, with an elusive, discreet, concealed charm that is only revealed to those who are prepared to search for it and to learn where to find the city’s hidden treasures. Leaving the city, our path leads us through the beautiful Pavia countryside, to the splendours of the Certosa, a magnificent, monumental monastery complex, built by the Visconti family. Then on to Santa Cristina, to the princely castles of Belgioioso and Chignolo Po, and to the ancient hot water springs of the Miradolo Terme spa, the royal palaces of Corteolona, San Zenone and Arena Po, and the riverside communities so dear to Giovanni Brera, to discover nature and history with every step.

Certosa Di Pavia

The Pavia Certosa was a great Carthusian monastery situated today in the town of the same name a few kilometres away from Pavia on the edge of the vast ducal hunting reserve of the Visconteo Castle park.

Sant'alessio Con Vialone

In an attractive secluded location in the country around the small town of Sant'Allesio con Vialone is a square plan castle with concentric quadrangular courtyards and a tall tower with a loggia at its apex which performed an important military lookout post role.

Corteolona

In Corteolona King Liutprand (712-744) had a magnificent residence built and decorated with marbles, columns and precious mosaics which he brought in specially from Rome. The palace was located on the site of the current Castellaro farmhouse.

Santa Cristina E Bissone

Santa Cristina was mentioned in the oldest traveller's tales mentioning the Via Francigena, Sigeric's 10th century journey.

Inverno E Monteleone

The fifteenth century Inverno e Monteleone castle complex was founded by the Knights Hospitaller at the time of the Crusades. It was built on a rectangular plan with a central courtyard, towers at the corners, moat and ravelin.

Miradolo Terme

The earliest mention of the Miradolo salt pans dates to the 10th century and they were used for kitchen salt making. In 1511 King Louis XII of France, after taking possession of the State of Milan, officially recognised the medicinal properties of its salt waters which were analysed and studied scientifically only during the eighteenth century.

Arena Po

Now privately owned, Arena Po castle dominates the river. The current appearance of the building is the outcome of several modifications but many traces of the thirteenth century building have survived.

San Zenone Al Po

The important history of San Zenone al Po is linked to its location on the confluence of the Olona and Po rivers. From the Middle Ages onwards armies and river fleets passed through the site and many battles took place.

Spessa Po

Spessa is a country town on the left bank of the Po river with houses and farms scattered in networks across the countryside and a village square which is the centre of village life.

Belgioioso

Belgioioso Castle was founded by Galeazzo II Visconti in the second half of the fourteenth century. It was dear to the ducal court which banned hunting in the area and enjoyed spending time there. This is the origin of the name.

The Castle

Chignolo Po castle is one of the most sumptuous castle residences in Lombardy. The oldest part is the tower which was built to defend the Po river and the trading routes between northern Europe and Italy.