The Place




On the bank of the river Ticino, before it merges with the Po river, lies Pavia, a small and ancient university town, 40 km south of Milan (and its airports, Malpensa and Linate, and the low-cost Orio al Serio in nearby Bergamo). The Roman name of the city was Ticinum; it was changed to Papia after being conquered by the Longbards in 572 and in the late 800s it was annexed by Charles the Great and became part of the Holy Roman Empire until the fourteenth century, when it became part of the dukedom of the Visconti family of Milan.

The University (Alma Ticinensis Universitas with about 25000 students) is near the town centre, a few minutes walk from the Visconti Castle. The numbers 1 to 5 of the University map ( see the first inset in the figures below ) indicate the entrance to a small car parking, the parking area, the location of two main conference rooms, the main entrance of the University and the New Aula Magna ( see also the maps given in "Maps of Pavia and its Environs" )

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Map of the University

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Castello Sforzesco

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University of Pavia

 

By 825, Pavia was the site of an important School of Rhetoric, established by the Frankish king of Italy Lothar I (ruled 818-855) which evolved from a School of Civil Law established by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I. During the middle age the University of Pavia was well-known all over Europe. In 1361 the Holy Roman emperor Charles IV (ruled 1355-1378) upgraded the School of Rhetoric to the level of Studium Generale; later Pope Boniface IX granted to the new institution the same rights previously given to the University of Bologna and to the Sorbonne in Paris. The institution was enlarged and renovated by the Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti (ruled 1385-1402).

The University of Pavia lost status in the sixteen century, owing to the war of 1525 and the Spanish occupation. The University was revived in the eighteenth century thanks to the intervention of the Austrian Emperors Maria Teresa and Giuseppe II. In the late 1940 post-war reconstruction era a second expansion was initiated by the Magnificent Rector Professor Plinio Fraccaro. Since 2005 the Magnificent Rector of the University is Professor Angiolino Stella, of the "Alessandro Volta" Department of Physics.

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Collegio Castiglioni

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Collegio Borromeo

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Collegio Ghislieri

 

The University, distinguished by illustrious names such as the mathematician Girolamo Cardano, and in sciences Alessandro Volta, Nobel Giulio Natta and Nobel Carlo Rubbia, is well known for natural sciences and medicine, following the tradition of Spellanzani in botany, Nobel Golgi in anatomy, Forlanini in hospital instrumentation, and Cavalli-Sforza in genetics. From the Middle Ages onwards students convened at Pavia from all over Europe and were lodged in Colleges: for example, Collegio Castiglioni founded by Cardinal Castiglioni in 1429, Collegio Ghislieri and Collegio Borromeo founded by Pope Pius V in 1567 and by Cardinal Borromeo in 1576, respectively.

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Collegio Cairoli

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Aula Foscolo

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New Aula Magna

 

The Collegio Germanico-Ungarico founded in 1781 by Joseph II, emperor of Austria, reopened in 1948 as Collegio Cairoli. The new Aula Magna constructed in the nineteenth century replaces a previous Aula Magna constructed by order of the Empress Maria Teresa of Austria and known today as Aula Foscolo. Below, you see the aula Scarpa, the old anatomy classroom, the aula Volta, where Alessandro Volta would give his classes for the students and public, and the Cortile delle Magnolie.

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Aula Scarpa

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Aula Volta

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Cortile delle Magnolie

 

New Colleges have been added more recently like the Collegio Fraccaro, the Collegio Nuovo, and the Santa Caterina College. In 1997, the IUSS (Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori) was established to link the Colleges of Pavia. In more recent times other colleges were founded through both public and private initiatives. Presently, the University of Pavia counts the following Colleges: Almo Collegio Borromeo, Collegio Ghislieri, Collegio Nuovo - Fondazione Sandra e Enea Mattei, Collegio Universitario S. Caterina da Siena, Collegio Cardano, Collegio Castiglioni, Collegio Fraccaro, Collegio Cairoli, Collegio Griziotti, Collegio Spallanzani, Collegio Valla, Collegio Volta, Collegio del Maino, Collegio Golgi. All college rooms have internet connexion and individual bathroom facilities. In addition, colleges have rooms for reading, TV, computers with internet connection, library, reception service and, in a few cases, fitness room.

 

The Collegio Germanico-Ungarico founded in 1781 by Joseph II, emperor of Austria, reopened in 1948 as Collegio Cairoli. The new Aula Magna constructed in the nineteenth century replaces a previous Aula Magna constructed by order of the Empress Maria Teresa of Austria and known today as Aula Foscolo. Below, you see the aula Scarpa, the old anatomy classroom, the aula Volta, where Alessandro Volta would give his classes for the students and public, and the Cortile delle Magnolie.

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San Michele

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Ponte Coperto

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Certosa di Pavia

 

The ancient basilica of San Michele (where Charles the Great and Federico Barbarossa were crowned Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire) reconstructed after a fire in 1004, the Castello Sforzesco, a fortress-mansion erected by the Visconti family of Milan, the magnificent Certosa monastery erected by Galeazzo Visconti in 1396, and the Ponte Coperto on the River Ticino are just some of the many interesting sites to be visited while in Pavia.