What to see in Pavia with children in one day

Pavia was the capital of the Lombard Kingdom, the children tell us by car, on their way back from our holiday on Lake Garda. Attracted by the charm of history, we decided to make a stop for a trip to Pavia. Eventually we did not follow a Lombard route, but we walked around the city center with the kids. Pavia is a colorful, cheerful city, full of monuments, less than an hour from Milan. To see Pavia with children, but even without it, it would take at least three days, or at least two, one to see the city center and one to dedicate to Certosa di Pavia. We have chosen the first hypothesis. Here is our itinerary for what to see in Pavia with children in one day. Also recommended for those living in Milan and its province.

In this article what to do in Pavia with children in one day

1. The covered bridge
2. Borgo Ticino, the house of Linguacciona
3. The Cathedral and Piazza Vittoria
4. University of Pavia, Botanical Garden and Alessandro Volta Museum
5. One hundred towers (or five) of Pavia
6. Visconti Castle and the park
7. The Cosmos Museum
Pitstop in Liberia and Pavia
9. A sweet break in Pavia
10. Pavias Charterhouse
11. How to visit Pavia with children
12. Where to park in Pavia
13. What to see in Pavia: the 100 churches
14. Where to eat in Pavia with children
14. Guided tours in Pavia

The covered bridge

We parked the car on the blue lines on via the Lungo Ticino Sforza and began our visit to Pavia from the covered bridge.

The bridge was rebuilt in the fourteenth century, but like any self-respecting bridge, it was born out of a legend.

In the year 999, the ancient Roman bridge, the remains of which are still seen today in the riverbed, collapsed; whoever wanted to go from one bank to another had to use boats. It is said that the devil himself on Christmas Eve in the year 999 built the new bridge over Ticino, first of fog and then of brick. In return, the devil had asked for the soul of the first living creature that had crossed the bridge. But the archangel Gabriel intervened and blocked the pilgrims and brought on the bridge (some say a goat, some a cat), an animal that fooled the devil.

The covered bridge was inaugurated on September 16, 1951, rebuilt after the bombing of the original bridge by Allied forces during World War II and located further downstream from the fourteenth century. It is a bridge with five almost equal arches, completely covered by two portals at the ends and a small religious chapel in the middle.

Borgo Ticino is home to Linguacciona

As you cross the covered bridge, you arrive at Borgo Ticino, the Pavia district on the right bank of Ticino, characterized by pastel-colored houses overlooking the river, in whose facades the level of previous floods is often indicated. Here the families of the fishermen lived and the washing wives came to wash their clothes
Coming from the center, immediately after the bridge, you will find the statue of “La Lavender del Burg”, a monument of the washerwoman, but with the children we advise you to continue along via Milazzo, at number 193 look up and you will find a fun surprise: linguaccionas house, symbol of the talkative washerwomen. A big pink face, with black hair, huge and very funny, with an open mouth and a tight tongue. Impossible not to stop and take a souvenir photo with a sore tongue.

Legend has it that the big face was created by a laundry entrepreneur named Bergonzi to make fun of the laundry women who gossiped about him and his debts.

In Borgo Ticino, in addition to the promenade among the colored houses, there is a small beach where children can get wet feet, and the bike path along the Ticino.
If you have more than one day, among the things you can do in Pavia with children, there is also a walk along the river or a boat trip along the Ticino.

The Cathedral and Piazza Vittoria

However, we drove back on the bridge and set course for the center. Quick stop at the Duomo, we also pass in front of the Broletto, the building where the municipal assemblies were held, and we stop to admire the Duomo’s facade, but also to take a look at the stalls in the colorful market. From here we reached Piazza Vittoria and walked through Strada Nuova (pedestrian street), we arrived at the University of Pavia. On Strada Nuova also stop to see Arnaboldi dome.

the victory place Pavia

University of Pavia, Botanical Garden and Alessandro Volta Museum

In one day you can not do and see everything you need to make choices. We went for a walk at the University of Pavia, one of the oldest in Europe, dating back to 1361 and is one of the oldest universities still in operation, including stairs, vaults, monasteries and plaques from various famous students.

I have to say that going with the kids and imagining they were adults … at university … was “weird” and exciting.

We did not have time, but here it is tooBotanical Garden and Electrical Engineering Museum, dedicated to Alessandro Volta, who was a professor at the university. (See opening hours)

The Hundred Towers of Pavia (or Five)

As we left the university courtyard, we found ourselves in Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, where the three impressive and majestic medieval noble towers welcomed us. Pavia was known as the city with a hundred towers (and a hundred churches). They were not defense towers, but “representation” towers that the noble families had built to demonstrate their power. The three towers on the site are the only remaining intact of the 100 original medieval towers, along with the San Dalmazio tower and Torre Belcredi, in via Luigi Porta.

Pavia’s towers can only be admired from the outside, they can not be visited.

Visconteo Slot

Visconti slot

A must in the itinerary for things to see in Pavia with children is the Visconteo Castle, built in 1360 by Galeazzo II Visconti. Today it is the seat of Civil museums (with the Archaeological, Romanesque, Medieval and Renaissance sections, Pinacoteca, the Crypt, the Risorgimento Museum and the Gipsoteca) and also hosts various contemporary art exhibitions. The visit to the museum lasts two hours, we did it in less than an hour, focusing on some gold and lombard finds and above all stopped on the second floor of the castle with a nice walk along the loggia.

The noble floor in the east and half of the south wing of the Visconteo castle is completely occupied by the Malaspina Art Gallery, but without wasting too much time among the paintings, aim for the space where the wooden model of the Pavia Cathedral is located, one of the most magnificent Renaissance wooden models still preserved, made by Giovan Pietro Fugazza from 1497. A majestic masterpiece of cypress, oak and walnut wood, has a length of 5 meters, a maximum width of 3.64 meters and a maximum height, for the lantern, of 3.64 meters. The cathedral that was built at the time is not this, but it is still wonderful.

But above all, here is a table with a model of the cathedral, which children themselves can touch, disassemble and (carefully) rebuild.

children pavia


We at the castle saw nothing else for the children, but we took a nice break in the castle guard, where there is a free playground, with swings, slides and pulleys and a toll plaza with rides, jumps and inflatables.

Cosmos Museum

Among the museums in Pavia to see with children, the Kosmos Museum, museum of history of science, with sections on zoology, paleontology and anatomy, can definitely be recommended. Here you will find fossils, but also interactive games, exhibitions dedicated to climate change and activities for children.

Pitstop in the bookstore in Pavia

For those who know us, they know that in every city, we always have a Pit stop in the bookstore. In Pavia we recommend La Liberia delfino (Ubik) on Piazza Cavagneria, 1. A few steps from the cathedral, ask for the bookseller Guido, he is very good.

A sweet break in Pavia

Before stopping at the University of Pavia, we had a sweet break with the Paradiso cake from Pasticceria Vigoni, in Strada Nuova 110.

There Vigon Tower was invented in 1878 by Enrico Vigoni and is a soft cake, with lots of powdered sugar, with a very light lemon flavor, perfect for kids. Moreover, it is a famous cake. It won the gold medal at the International Exhibition in 1906.

Pavias charter house

We know that Certosa di Pavia is very famous and to be seen absolutely, it is outside the center of Certosa di Pavia municipality.

It is one of the most beautiful monuments of the Renaissance. It was Gian Galeazzo Visconti, lord of Milan in the late 15th century, who wanted a family chapel next to the ducal castle. He had it built as an ex-voto for his wife Caterina, who had had very difficult pregnancies and births. The certosa was to serve as a mausoleum after their death and was entrusted to the Carthusian monks, although over the centuries it would also have passed to the Cistercians and Benedictines.

Admission to Certosa di Pavia is free, but you have to be careful because visiting hours are quite limited and the monks change them according to the seasons.

  • Before organizing your visit, consult the website

The museum can be visited every day – except Mondays – by booking at least one hour in advance on the number 0382 539638 at Cooperative Dedalo.

How to visit Pavia with children

covered bridge family Pavia

Pavia is a flat town and the center is pedestrianized. We toured it on foot, in one day we covered 12 kilometers. Apart from the old streets with pebbles, it is also easy to get around in a pram

On Saturday and Sunday, the small train is an alternative for smaller children Pavia Express, which takes you around the city in about half an hour (4 € for adults, € 3 for children up to 10 years). The train departs from Piazza Vittoria, in Corso Strada Nuova. Tickets are made directly on the train.

  • For information and reservations: IORIS 348/7461603

Where to park in Pavia

We have parked along Ticinoon blue stripes. The price is equal to: From Monday to Friday – Hourly rate: € 1.20. Saturday – Hourly rate: € 0.60. Sundays and public holidays: Free.

Or you can park on the other side of the center, near the Visconteo castle, stello Visconteo.

Worth seeing in Pavia. The 100 churches

Pavia is also called the city with a hundred churches, and there are so many to see, such as Church of San Teodoroand near Catello Visconteo, the Basilica of San Pietro and Ciel d’Oro, where the remains of St. Augustine is stored. But honestly, we skipped them with the kids.

Where to eat in Pavia with children

A different and fun idea for a panzo in Pavia with the kids and Patada_pavia, in Strada Nuova 75, right in front of the Fraschini Theater. Spicy potatoes are eaten in dozens of different ways. The basic dish is the English baked potato ‘, but spiced with fresh ingredients made in Italy. The potatoes are huge (400 gr), but there is also the small version.

Along the Corso Strada Nuova, in front of the university’s main building, there is also L’angelo del Gelato, by Angelo Colucci, a small place with a small cone that is a little pricey (three euros) but very good.

At the end of Corso Strada Nuova, close to the historic Ponte Coperto, just along Via Francigena, is another recommended ice cream parlor Gelateria Romea

Guided tours in Pavia

Before organizing your visit and deciding what to see in Pavia with children, consult the Vivi Pavia website, which lists all the planned events, guided tours and family initiatives.

In short, Pavia in one day is a city that surprises you, one of those “unexpected” cities, but even though it is small and easy to get around on foot … you should definitely return, because there are so much to see.

Leave a Comment