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Explorers of Italy,

Today I share with you a secret that not everyone knows but you can include on your bucket list for your next trip to the North of Italy. Take a pen and write the name of this hidden gem down – CERTOSA DI PAVIA.

Certosa di Pavia, also known as the Charterhouse of Pavia, is a famous monastery located in Pavia, Italy.

It was founded in 1396 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the Duke of Milan, as a symbol of his wealth and power. He wanted to create a magnificent monument that would rival the great cathedrals of Europe.

The construction of the monastery began in 1396 and continued for over a century. It was finally completed in the late 15th century, with the addition of the beautiful frescoes in the Cloister of the Grande Chiostro.

Over the centuries, the Charterhouse of Pavia has been occupied by various religious orders, including the Carthusians, who arrived in the 15th century and made the monastery their home. The Carthusians were a strict order of monks who lived in isolation, dedicating their lives to prayer and contemplation.

Today, Certosa di Pavia is a working monastery and a popular tourist attraction. It is known for its stunning architecture, impressive art collection, and rich history. Visitors can attend mass in the monastery’s beautiful chapel and experience the peaceful, contemplative atmosphere of the monastery.
Admission fee: FREE

How to reach Certosa di Pavia from Milan?

  • BY TRAIN: to reach Certosa di Pavia by train from Milan, you need to take a train from one of the following stations: Milano Porta Garibaldi; Milano Centrale; Milano Porta Venezia. Milano Rogoredo.
    Check the timetables of trains on the website and choose the best option for you.
    Direction: Milan – Certosa di Pavia
    Price: One-way ticket costs 4 EUR.
    Journey time: 18 – 47 mins (depending on the station that you choose to go from). When you arrive at the train station of Certosa di Pavia, go in the direction of the Museum of Certosa di Pavia, it will take around 10-15 mins.
  • BY CAR: you need to take the A7 motorway towards Genoa and exit at the Pavia Nord exit.
    The journey from Milan to Certosa di Pavia by car takes approximately 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic. Please note that parking at Certosa di Pavia can be limited during peak times.
    Parking: park a car in the Oratorio parking lot which is located just outside the entrance to the Certosa di Pavia monastery. The parking fee is  €1 per hour for cars and motorcycles. The maximum daily rate is €5.


Why is Certosa di Pavia worth visiting?
Here there are some reasons:

  1. Architecture: The Charterhouse of Pavia is one of the finest examples of Lombard Renaissance architecture. It was built in the late 14th century and features a beautiful combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The monastery is known for its stunning cloisters, chapels, and courtyards.
  2. Art Collection: Certosa di Pavia houses an impressive collection of art and artifacts, including frescoes, sculptures, and paintings. Some of the most famous works in the collection are by artists such as Bernardino Luini, Antonio Campi, and Daniele Crespi.
  3. Historical Significance: The monastery has a rich and fascinating history. It was built by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the Duke of Milan, as a monument to his power and wealth. Over the centuries, it has been occupied by various religious orders and served as a center of learning and culture.
  4. Religious Significance: Certosa di Pavia is also famous for its religious significance. It is a working monastery, and the monks who live there follow the rule of St. Benedict.

Open hours: 09:00 – 11:30 am, 14:30 – 16:30 from Tuesday to Sunday (on Monday it is closed)

INSIDER TIP: arrive to visit Certosa di Pavia in the afternoon, around 3 pm there is a free tour guided by one of 6 monks who are living now in the monastery. 

TRAVEL ADVICE: After visiting Certosa di Pavia, continue your one-day trip and catch a train to explore one of the oldest towns of the Lombardy region Pavia. It will take just 8 mins to reach it but what to see and visit there I’ll share with you in the next article. Check some ideas of experiences in Pavia here

Your travel planner in Italy,