Pavia and Vigevano

This past Tuesday, our day trip consisted of visiting the small cities of Pavia and Vigevano, outside of Milan.

First we went to Certosa di Pavia, which was a monastery of Carthusian monks. Now the monks that live there belong to the Benedictine order.  The main church, Santa Maria della Grazie, was definitely in my top 5 favorite churches I’ve ever visited- and I’ve been to a lot of churches!  The ceiling frescos inside are all original, dating back to the 14th/15th century, and are a vibrant beautiful blue color that come from the lazurite mineral that was used.   It was absolutely stunning! We were given a guided tour through the church and monastery grounds by one of the monks, which was very cool.

Certosa di Pavia

Next we drove to Pavia and stopped for lunch before going to tour a few places in the city.  Our first stop was Castello Visonteo.  This was a pretty cool medieval castle that now houses an archaeology museum as well as some others.

Castello Visconteo

Next we went to the Palazzo Dell’Universita’.  Pavia is a university city so there was lots of young people around (quite a change from Genoa).

 our last stop in Pavia was Chiesa di San Michele.  This was the only church in the city that was not made of brick.  It was made of a limestone or sandstone and looked very different  from the rest of the city.

Then we drove to Vigevano and went to Piazza Ducale. This was a really quaint and beautiful piazza inside the medieval city walls.

Vigevano

We tried to go to the Castello, but it was closed. So that was the end of our day visiting some very cool small Italian cities.