Have you always dreamt of visiting an authentic Carthusian monastery? Certosa di Pavia is the perfect location for you. Learn more.
Have you decided to visit Certosa di Pavia? Ok, let’s make it real. Choose a beautiful day and get ready to spend an unforgettable journey in Pavia’s countryside. Lose yourself in the monastery gardens, walk around in the cloister, experience the everyday life of the Carthusian monks, enjoy the beauty of the art and don't forget to pop into the delightful souvenir shop where you’ll have the opportunity to buy products made by the Carthusian friars.
The Certosa di Pavia is the perfect combination of art, history, nature and entertainment. Just a few kilometers, 12 to be precise, from the larger town of Pavia, this monument, as well as the small village that hosts it, represent a little gem in the Pavia countryside that should not be missed.
Historical facts before visiting Certosa di Pavia
The construction of the Certosa di Pavia was commissioned by Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who, after the construction of the Milan Duomo Cathedral, decided to devote himself to the design of this other sacred place.
The construction of the Certosa di Pavia was really fast: this monument was built in only fifty years. The first stone was laid in 1396, in the middle of the late Gothic period, but the cladding also has typical traits of Renaissance art.
For this reason, Certosa di Pavia represents one of the most important symbols of Lombard art of that time and even today it is considered as one of the most significant, aesthetically magnificent and spectacular monuments of Italy.
Visiting the Certosa di Pavia: what to know
A trip to the monastery of Certosa di Pavia is strongly recommended to all history and culture enthusiasts and, why not, also to nature and hiking lovers: you’ll be immersed in greenery and almost untouched nature.
But how to organize the perfect trip to the Certosa di Pavia? Here you find a short list of what you need to do to have a perfect and beautiful day at one of the most amazing monuments in northern Italy.
● reaching the Certosa di Pavia is very simple: there are several paid parking lots nearby to leave your car in total safety, only a few steps from the monument;
● pay attention to the cameras: cameras and electronic devices are absolutely prohibited inside the monastery. I suggest to put them in your backpack, if you don't want to annoy the Carthusian monks;
● dress appropriately: remember that you are in a sacred place, so long trousers and covered shoulders are the best choice. Try to avoid short skirts, shorts and tank tops;
● if you want to experience the visit to the fullest, choose the guided tour. In this type of tour an authentic Carthusian monk will show you all the secrets of the Certosa di Pavia.
Do you need a snack break after the tour? The possibilities are endless. Are you a picnic lover? Around the Certosa di Pavia you can find several green areas where you can eat your packed lunch in total relaxation, surrounded by nature.
Are you more of the kind of person who loves to taste local dishes? No problem! In the immediate surroundings there are several delicious typical restaurants.
Take the best and choose a guided tour: here's what it includes
The guided tour certainly represents one of the best choices you can make if you want to enter the fascinating world of the Certosa di Pavia. How does it work? It’s very simple and really effective. A Carthusian will accompany you throughout your visit, explaining every detail and answering your questions.
The tour starts at the magnificent Madonna del Perugino and moves on to the impressive stained-glass windows designed by De Mottis, whose designs are also present inside the much more famous Duomo of Milan. Don't forget to look at the famous altarpieces by Bergognone and the masterpieces of the masters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries such as Morazzone, Guercino, Cerano and Daniele Crespi, who studied at the Ambrosian Academy.
But the best is yet to come: a Carthusian monk will accompany you to visit the apse to discover all its secret treasures. Discover the graves of Gian Galeazzo, Ludovico il Moro and Beatrice d'Este: these funerary monuments are richly decorated with beautiful inlays and frescoes.
Still not satisfied? The guided tour does not end here. In fact, together with your guide, you will be able to fully explore the cloisters, the refectory, which is decorated with the scene of the Last Supper, and the monks' cells, to then end up in one of the largest cloisters in Italy, once decorated with frescoes by Vincenzo Foppa. Not bad, right?
Pavia and its surroundings: what you have to see
If you have finished your visit to the Certosa di Pavia and you still don't want to go home, you are in the right place. Nearby the Certosa di Pavia there are a lot of interesting places that easily adapt to the tastes and needs of everyone: families, couples and friends. Do you want some examples? Let's see them together:
● Pavia: this city has a Longobard origin and is the perfect choice for small village lovers. The cobbled streets and the numerous churches are real highlights of Pavia, along with the Covered Bridge that crosses the Ticino and the wonderful Visconteo Castle. Make sure to have a delicious “aperitivo” in Piazza Della Vittoria;
● Oasi di Sant'Alessio: perfect for families, this natural park is ideal for picnics and for discovering animals, for everyone's enjoyment;
● Oltrepò Pavese: hills, vineyards and unforgettable sunsets are what this place offers. Among the most popular destinations are Santa Maria della Versa and Zavattarello;
● Morimondo: you can’t miss this pretty village! It is immersed in the countryside and has a unique and well-known abbey.
Also, not to be forgotten, the delightful town of Vigevano – it is about thirty kilometers from Pavia but is a real jewel. Since this city has one of the most beautiful squares in Italy it certainly deserves a visit of a few hours.