Saturday, February 5, 2011

Golden family jewels in Pavia

I was keen for some fresh air and to escape the 'runny nose asylum' that is currently our Milano apartment; so in denial about our health, we decided on a day trip to Pavia, 45 minutes away. Pavia is a university city with fine Romanesque and medieval buildings. I come from a country that is not old, so I was amazed to walk through a town that has so much history. The university of Pavia was established in 1361, (that is 527 years older than Australia), and had graduates such as Christopher Columbus, (yes the world is round), and Alessandro Volta, (inventor of the electric battery). "You know Alessandro Volta, that's where the word voltage comes from!" says my husband with way too much enthusiam. Can you guess who paid more attention in history lessons?

Pavia is also known as the city of 100 towers but only a few remain intact today. We were told there was a good cluster in Piazza di Leonardo di Vinci near the University. We found 3, and later spotted one more.

Pavia's Duomo has the third largest dome in Italy, but it was only completed in the nineteenth century. Both da Vinci and Donato Bramante contributed to the church's design. Apparently it has a very impressive interior which we did not get to see as it was closed for lunch between 12 and 3, (yes the religious must eat also). In 1989 its bell tower collapsed, killing four people; there is still rubble and remains to the left of the church. . The Regisole monument in front of the Cathedral of Pavia was interesting to see; it was a man on a horse, with yellow testicles. I am referring to the horse, not the man. I am skeptical whether these golden jewels were part of the original sculpture. It did none the less provide a giggle.

We visited the tourist information centre for a map and advice on places to eat lunch (with children). We were directed across the covered bridge of the Ticino River. It was here we found a Napolitano Restaurant, (not quite the authentic Pavia food), the meal was lovely and after free icecream we left to explore some more.

We ended our trip by seeing the extraordinary Certosa di Pavia, 8km north of Pavia, it is an extravagant religious complex and the monastery is one of the most notable buildings from the Italian Renaissance period. This sight see was our favourite of Pavia, although it did provide some challenges. No photos were to be taken inside the gates, (it was just so beautiful, but could not capture it on film); and there was to be complete silence, (try explaining this to a 3 year old who knows enclosed spaces with high ceiling echo, echo, echo).

1 comment:

  1. Regisole has golden testicoles because of the goliardic group Ordo Clavis Universalis.