Beautiful cityscape, a winding river, delicious food, and exquisite wine is what you will find if you are planning on visiting Pavia, Italy.
Pavia is a city in the northern region of Italy that is well-known for its farming and wine. And, because it is only a short distance away from the capital of fashion – Milan, it is a popular tourist destination.
If you are thinking about planning a trip to Pavia, I suggest planning it in the early spring or fall to experience the best weather possible. And, for after you have the date squared away I have put together this guide to assist you in planning the best trip to Pavia possible!
A Practical Guide for a Short Trip to Pavia
Getting to Pavia
Unless you are living in Italy, you are likely going to be flying to Pavia. The nearest major airport to Pavia is the Linate Airport. However, Linate can typically be expensive to fly into. So, if you are flying internationally I recommend flying into Milan.
Once you have reached Milan Malpensa Airport there are a few options for traveling the 88 km (55 miles) to Pavia. The first is renting a car and taking a short, 1-hour drive to the Pavia city center. With this option, you can do a small bit of sightseeing in Milan before heading on, which is always a great deal of fun.
However, if you are not into driving you can opt to take a bus from Milan Airport directly into Pavia and still see all the scenery along the way.
From Milano Linate Airport there’s a bus that connects directly to Pavia. The bus company is called Autoservizi Botti – you can book bus tickets online or find their phone number on their website.
From Milano Malpensa Airport there are many busses to Milan’s Stazione Centrale (central station). From there you can take either a bus or a train to reach Pavia. Trains leave for Pavia from the central station roughly every 30 minutes. Tickets can be bought in the Trenitalia ticket office or by using the Trenitalia self-service ticket machines (most of which have an English language option).
Where to Stay in Pavia
In Pavia, there are many beautiful choices for lodging within the city center that will help to simplify your stay. However, there are great options for lodging outside of the city as well! If you are looking for recommendations, here are mine!
1. Hotel Moderno
Right in the middle of Pavia is Hotel Moderno. Both beautiful and luxurious, Hotel Moderno has lovely amenities and is just a short walk from many delicious restaurants, interesting museums, and exciting nightlife. Long story short, Hotel Moderno is definitely a place where you can have it all… and it’s certainly worth the price!
2. Cascina Scova
If you are looking for a lodging option outside the city center, I highly recommend checking out Cascina Scova.
Cascina Scova is a resort that offers total relaxation and the chance to see pure Northern Italy beauty firsthand. It’s the kind of place you want to check into if you are looking to take a couple of days and completely disconnect from the world while also experiencing something new. From their luxurious spa to the gourmet restaurant there’s not really a need to even leave the resort. However, if you want to leave all you simply have to do is jump on a bus!
3. Guest House Maiocchi
Sometimes you have to travel to Italy on a strict budget. And, if that is the case for your trip to Pavia I recommend the Guest House Maiocchi.
Located near the city center, Guest House Maiocchi offers luxury at an affordable cost. All of the rooms are furnished with beautiful furniture and televisions. Some of the rooms even have small kitchenettes and you can rent a room for multiple people to help split the cost!
Places To See in Pavia
Anywhere you go in Pavia you will see beautiful architecture and landscape. But, while you are on your trip, there are certainly specific sights you need to see. Here are my recommendations for what not to miss in Pavia.
1. Visconti Castle
Visconti castle is a lovely sight to see. Inside the enormous brick and stone structure are hallways that go on and on forever. In its prime, the Visconti Castle was the home of the rulers of the Milan territory. But, today it is a place where you can enjoy exhibits of local art or have a picnic of wine and gourmet cheeses on the front lawn.
2. Ponte Coperto
When you are visiting Pavia one destination you need to experience is the River Ticino.
And, there is no better way to experience the River Ticino than by taking a stroll over the beautiful Ponte Coperto. A covered bridge with large archways, the Ponte Coperto overlooks the River Ticino and is perfectly designed for romantic walks and amazing Instagram pictures.
3. Tenuta Mazzolino
For three thousand years delicious grapes, perfect for winemaking, have been growing on the grounds of Tenuta Mazzolino. On the grounds of Tenuta Mazzolino, you will find not only a beautiful vineyard but also historic buildings and great wines.
Long story short, if you are visiting Pavia, Tenuta Mazzolino should be on your list.
4. The Certosa di Pavia
One of the largest and most important Italian monasteries is located only 10 km (6.2 miles) from Pavia.
The history and the architecture of this place is simply incredible and you should definitely plan a few hours here to soak it all in.
The popular Certosa di Pavia is definitely a must-visit in Pavia!
5. A Pavia Market
Locals in Pavia don’t generally shop at a supermarket for their groceries. Instead, they find a local farmer’s market to buy their produce, fruits, veggies and baked goods for their nightly meals.
Because Pavia is on such fertile land, the produce there is exquisite and definitely a delight. I recommend giving a try! Get all of the ingredients to make a meal in your Airbnb, or just get a croissant to nibble on as you stroll through the rest of the market. Either way, your experience won’t disappoint.
Where to Eat in Pavia
It’s hard to find a bad restaurant anywhere in Italy and Pavia is certainly no exception from this point of view.
This lovely university town is filled with authentic, mostly family-run restaurants where you can enjoy the delicious Italian cuisine.
If you want a quick snack while discovering the city, head to the Old Town – it offers a wide selection of places where you can just grab a slice of pizza, a yummy panino or an ice cream – all mouthwatering and at convenient prices.
If you’re looking for a place to have lunch or dinner check out the Pizzeria al Castello for the best pizza in town, the Regisole Restaurant for the amazing view of Duomo and the Ristorante Italia for the typical Italian dishes.
Final Tips for Visiting Pavia, Italy
As you plan your trip to Pavia keep in mind that it is a rather small city. So, no matter where you decide to stay or how you decide to get there you will be able to see most of the sights without any problems. You can take the city bus nearly anywhere or just walk.
Therefore, even if you can’t stay long, Pavia is certainly worth at least a day in your Italian itinerary.
- What Not to Miss in Milan, Italy (Pavia makes a good day trip from Milan)
- Interview With an Expat About Milan
- What to See & Do on a Short Visit to Rome, Italy
A Map of What to Do, Where to Stay & Where to Eat in Pavia
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