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Pavia

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Pavia (population 80,000) is a city of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 kilometres south of Milan on the lower Ticino river.

Pavia is the capital of a fertile province (also named Pavia) 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 the city's past and the climate of study and meditation associated with its ancient University.

The History

Dating back to pre-Roman times, the town of Pavia (then known as Ticinum Papiæ) was a municipality and an important military site under the Roman Empire.

Subsequently, it became a fortified citadel and the last bulwark[?] of the Goths. After the Longobard conquest, Pavia became the capital of their kingdom and later of the Regnum Italicum until the 12th century.

In the following centuries Pavia was an important and active town. Conquered (1359) by the Visconti[?] family, rulers of Milan, it became an intellectual and artistic centre, being the seat from 1361 of the University, which attracted students from many countries.

During the Bourbon-Habsburg Italian Wars the defeat and capture of king Francis I of France at the Battle of Pavia[?] (1525) ushered in a period of Spanish occupation which lasted until 1713. Pavia was then ruled by the Austrians until 1796, when it 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.

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