Famous women in Pavia


Samantha Maggi

Guided tours to Pavia for the Women's Day

On the occasion of Women's Day it happened several times to lead groups on an itinerary that I created and which I have always found exciting: Pavia (but also Vigevano, Milan, Como, the other cities of my competence) through the eyes of its famous women.

They are fascinating ladies! Intellectuals, warriors, idealists, determined, simple, sophisticated women that allow me to start from their history and move on to the history of the places in Pavia linked to them and to creat very engaging guided tours. The paths are many and each time adaptable, in this article I will give you only some ideas!

If I meet you at the train station we could start from the Roman time and its mythology and stand at the feet of the imposing statue which represents Minerva, goddess of wisdom and therefore associated with Pavia, an ancient university city but ... be careful not to look into her eyes as a curious legend suggests us !

At this point it’s time to move to the Middle Ages and here we walk on the cobbled streets to arrive at the basilica of San Michele and to evoke the presence of a troubled lady, empress and saint, Adelaide of Burgundy. My favorite character, however, remains always her... Cecilia Gallerani, "The lady with an ermine" painted by Leonardo da Vinci at the time of the Dukes Sforza.

Cecilia takes us to the Castle of Pavia and here I could spend hours talking about her and all the people and events related to her. To get into the heart of this sumptuous and complex era, I suggest you to read a very well-constructed and documented historical novel,Leonardo's Swans", by Karen Essex (now only found in second-hand shops or in libraries).

Another female figure I dare say "monumental", who has certainly traveled the streets of Pavia, is Empress Maria Theresa of Habsburg. To imagine her in her imposant elegance and grandeur, just enter the courtyards of the ancient university and, above all, the most suggestive place related to the Empress, the Teresian University Library.

Anyway...as we women know it is not necessary to be queens, empresses, duchesses to be the pillars of history and everyday life ... for this reason I always like to linger next to the statue of the laundrywoman, along the Ticino river. Few decades ago the monument was dedicated to this figure who, for centuries, has observed and passed through the history of our beautiful city.

As you can imagine the laundrywomen had a tough life but, perhaps, not tougher than the one of duchesses and princesses. Thank God since those times we women have improved a lot in terms of independence and freedom!

Mia Martini - Donna


Samantha Maggi

Da appassionata di storia e arte mi sono laureata nel 1999 in Scienze dei Beni Culturali all’ Università di Pavia per poi superare gli esami per diventare Guida Turistica Abilitata di queste splendide e così diverse città lombarde: Pavia, Milano, Como.
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4 comments for “Donne celebri a Pavia”

  1. Splendido ed entusiasmante articolo! In chiare linee ha aperto una finestra di storia importantissima. Complimenti a Samantha e alla sua eccellente professionalità.
    Mirella Siboni

  2. Complimenti Samantha, veramente interessante e sconosciuta ai più credo... Speriamo di avere presto la possibilità di fare questa intrigante esperienza! Federico e Elena

Tourist guides Pavia

Tourist guides and guided visits Pavia, Charterhouse of Pavia, Milan and Como. Experience and in-depth knowledge of the area always told in an interesting, brilliant and curious way.

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