THE VIA FRANCIGENA (CANDIDACY UNESCO 2017)
The ‘Via Francigena’, with its villages, waterways and rice paddies appears in the territory as a journey of through time that begs to be visited and discovered. Its name, Francigena, dates back to the 9th century, when it got this name in connection to the French Kingdom.
The need for the Longobards to connect Pavia, capital of the North Kingdom, to the ducats of southern Italy, along with a secure connection, led to the birth of this itinerary.
When the French defeated the Longobards, the road became the main link between northern and southern Europe, traversed by merchants, sovereigns and pilgrims who went to Rome and from there to the Holy Land or Santiago de Compostela.
The pavilion stretches as one of the most spectacular stages of the journey, between countryside, villages and state-of-the-art landscapes. The featured municipalities of the province of Pavia are Palestro, Robbio, Nicorvo, Mortara, Tromello, Garlasco, Gropello Cairoli, Carbonara in Ticino, San Martino Siccomario, Pavia, Valle Salimbene, Linarolo, Belgioioso, Corteolona, Santa Cristina and Bissone, Chignolo Po for a total of 1.267 km.
Pavia, a millennial city, the hearth of the Po Valley, is surprising for the richness of the artistic heritage, which attests to an ancient history of the place called Ticinum.
Between cobbled streets, church facades and house roofs. Pavia offers a unique visitor experience in its typical “happy” union of art, history and territory.
The Pavese, Lomellina and Oltrepò make this province a territory characterized by ancient castles, fortresses, rocks, suggestive villages where Romanesque churches testify to the territory as a crossroad of religious routes, rich of typical products of excellent gastronomy, and landscapes of unforgettable charm.
1 Visit to the characteristic old town of Pavia with its main monuments: you will discover the Romanesque church of San Michele Maggiore, the church of San Pietro in Cielo d’Oro, the Broletto di Pavia, the ancient university. In the afternoon the visit continues to the Certosa of Pavia.
2 In the morning, a visit to the Belgioioso Castle of Visconti, originated in the place Visconti called “Bel Zoiosus”. The residence, built in the 15th century, for hunting reasons, still shows evidence of the original art and affrescoes. In the afternoon you will visit the Chignolo Po Castle, considered the Versailles of Lombardy, with its elegant Italian garden.
3 Visit to the ducal town of Longobard Vigevano, which welcomes the tourist with the harmony of the famous and elegant Piazza, created by Bramante through the Leonardo da Vinci contest. In the afternoon we will visit Robbio with its ancient monuments, such as the Romanesque church of San Pietro (13th century), the ancient church of San Valeriano (V-VI sec.), later expanded and rebuilt by clunian monks. Situated on the Via Francigena, Robbio, used to be an outpost in the Middle Ages.
Worth mentioning: the hot springs of Miradolo, Salice and Rivanazzano, the villages of Varzii and Zavattarello, SanfAlberto di Butrio, the ancient Baptistery of San Giovanni ad Fontes in Lomello and Breme.
HOW TO GET HERE
By Air: the city of Pavia is easily accessible from the airports of Milan Linate (58km), Milan Malpensa (85 km) and Bergamo Orio al Serio (102km)
By train: Milan-Genoa line
By Car- Motorway A7 Milan – Genoa (exit Bereguardo- Pavia Nord): Motorway A21Turin Piacenza (exit Casteggio – Casatisma and Stradella – Broni)