Although dating back to pre-Roman times, during the Roman Empire the town of
Pavia was a municipality and an important military site. Subsequently, it became
a fortified citadel and the last bulwark of the Goths and the Byzantines. After
the Longobard conquest, Pavia became the capital of their kingdom and later of
the Regnum Italicum until the 12th century. Afterwards Pavia became an important
and active town. Conquered by the Visconti family ruling over Milan, it became
an intellectual and artistic centre, being the seat of the University which
attracted students from many countries. After the Franco-Spanish war and the
battle of Pavia (1525) the town fell under the Spanish occupation until 1713.
It was then ruled by the Austrians until 1796, when was occupied by the French
army under Napoleon. In 1815 it again passed under Austrian administration until
the Second War of Independence (1859) and the unification of Italy one year later.
Pavia is now a municipality of some 90,000 inhabitants and the main centre of a
fertile province essentialy devoted to agriculture (wine,rice,cereals,dairy
products). Some industries located in the suburbs do not disturb the peaceful
atmosphere which comes from the preservation of past memories and the climate
of study and meditation associated with its ancient University.
Pagina a cura di Roberto Cecco