The Certosa di Pavia: an absolute Gothic-Renaissance masterpiece

A few kilometers from the city of Pavia, precisely 7 northwards, there is one of the attractions not to be missed, if you are in the surrounding areas, namely the Monastery of the Certosa di Pavia . This Lombard wonder it was built at the behest of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who assigned it not only to the function of a private chapel, but also of a family mausoleum.


The laying of the first stone of this monument so imposing and exceptional, took place in the distant 1396, in the middle of the late Gothic period, but it is only from the second half of the fifteenth century that the building was completed with the rich Renaissance dress that we can all admire today.

This decorative style makes it one of the most prestigious monuments in the history of Italian art . Externally, the Certosa di Pavia is on two levels, with a Renaissance-style vestibule, which accompanies the visitor inside the church.

Built on a Latin cross plan with three naves and a transept, inside it is possible to admire masterpieces of the history of Italian art, attributable to the greatest masters of the period.

Among the exceptional works of art of the Certosa di Pavia we can mention frescoes and sculptures made by Bergognone and Mantegazza, immediately perceptible at first glance. The façade, begun by Solari and completed by Briosco, also author of the portal, is also beautiful and refined. Of Gothic origin, the upper part of which was never completed, it is richly decorated by the hand of Cristoforo Lombardo.

To complete the complex, two elegant cloisters perfectly preserved. Also worth seeing are the polyptych by Perugino, the figures on the walls by Guercino, Giovan Battista Carlone, Bergognone and Macrino d’Alba. Also not to be missed is the ivory triptych of the Embriachi, signed by Baldassarre di Simone di Aliotto.

To continue you can admire the frescoes by Crespi and Cerano, the splendid sculptural decoration of the facade, in white and polychrome marble, the triptych in hippopotamus tooth in the old sacristy, the superb pictorial cycle frescoed by Bergognone in the transept of the church, the incredible wood carving work in the choir, and the rich terracotta ornaments of the two cloisters.

And, if that were not enough, at the Certosa di Pavia the works are also those exhibited in the rooms of the museum, located near the main body and set up in the two sections of the Palazzo Ducale. Upstairs there are, instead, paintings and sculptures among which a splendid altarpiece of the Mountain stands out.

In short, the Certosa di Pavia is truly an Italian jewel full of fascinating stories and works of art that must be visited absolutely.

Opening hours and days

From Friday 15 March 2019 to Monday 6 January 2020

Monday : closed
Tuesday : from 9.00 to 11.30 and from 14.30 to 18.00
Wednesday : from 9.00 to 11.30 and from 14.30 to 18.00
Thursday : from 9.00 to 11.30 and from 14.30 to 18.00
Friday : from 9.00 to 11.30 and from 14.30 to 18.00
Saturday : from 9.00 to 11.30 and from 14.30 to 18.00
Sunday : from 9.00 to 11.30 and from 14.30 to 18.00

Masses are held at 9.30, 11.30 and 16.30.

Times may vary depending on the season, we advise you to consult the official website for safety.

Prices and Reductions

Admission to the Certosa di Pavia is free.

How to get

The Certosa di Pavia can be reached via the SP35 towards Milan, near the municipality of Binasco. If you prefer to travel by train, from Certosa station it is located a few minutes walk from the complex.

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