Founded by the Romans with the name of Ticinum, Pavia, located along the river Ticino, became the capital city of the Longobard Reign from 572 to 774.
The fabric of Pavia has preserved some of its original traits and its old centre recreates the regular layout of the Roman "castrum". On the other hand, the medieval part of Pavia starts with a view of the covered Bridge and two basilicae, of St. Theodore (late XII - early XIII century) and St. Michael (the most important Romanesque style church in Pavia).
In the hamlet of Mirabello it is possible to admire the Visconti Castle, built by Galeazzo II, probably served as a location for recreational hunting more than an actual fortress, and now houses the Art Gallery and the Musei Civici.; not too far from the castle there is is the XII century Romanesque church of S. Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, where the Arca di S. Agostino (the tomb of St. Augustine) and the sepulchre of the pilosopher and writer Severino Boezio are preserved.
About ten km north of Pavia, towards Milan, is the famous monument of the Certosa (Carthusian monastery), founded in 1396 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who wanted to create his family's mausoleum in the church dedicated to S. Maria delle Grazie. It is a complex of buildings and gardens, consisting of the monastery, the church and the cloisters of the monks. On the courtyard facing the church is the Palazzo Ducale (the summer residence of the Dukes of Milan), the ancient pharmacy and the monks' laboratories and workshops.