Els Slots (The Netherlands):
Pavia is located conveniently close to Milan Linate airport, so I had planned a visit to this TWHS on my last day in the area. The city has played an important role in the Longobard expansion into Italy, but isn't part of the locations included in the 'Longobards in Italy WHS'. This omission seems to have been done on purpose, as Italian authorities will have bigger plans for this town in its own right. Plans that are not limited to its Longobard history.
There's the 14th century "Certosa di Pavia", one of the two most prominent Carthusian monasteries in the world. This monastery lies 8 km north of the city, and a combination visit with the city center of Pavia will set you back a few hours. As I was short on time and did not want to skip yet another Italian lunch, I decided to forego on the Certosa with its limited opening hours.
The city itself has enough to see and do for a couple of hours. Its main monuments are scattered around, so you need time to walk between them. I spent about 2,5 hours there, including eating an excellent pizza in the real Italian family style pizzeria Regisole near the Duomo (observing the Italian families interacting with the staff is a joy, and my pizza capriciosa tasted great as well). Most impressive sight in town is the St. Michele Church. It dates from the 11th/12th century, and has a facade to remember (see attached photo). The interior has various very old frescoes and religious objects such as the silver Teodote's Crucifix.
A sight like St. Michele Church or the Castello Visconteo would be a major feature in any city outside of Italy, but unfortunately this country has so much art & architecture on offer that I wonder if it ever will be put forward by Italy for inclusion.
Date posted: December 2013 Assif Am-David (Israel):
Pavia has the second largest Carthusian monastery in Italy (the largest by the way is Padula which is already on the list). It isn't far from Milan to go by train. The monastery is lavishly decorated and is very impressive. Getting there from the railway station was a bit difficult though. It's a half an hour walk along the road and since it was winter and raining we had a rough start. Eventually it paid off big time!
Date posted: May 2008
Have you been to Centro Storico di Pavia e Certosa? Share your experiences!