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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.
Dating back to pre-Roman times, the town of Pavia (then known as Ticinum
Papiž) 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.
* Gerolamo Cardano - Scientist
* Tranquillo Cremona - Painter
* Carlo Dossi - Writer