Year 825: a rhetoric institution wanted by Lotario was already rooted in Pavia.

Year 1361, 650 years ago: a Studium Generale was founded thanks to Charles IV. Later on it was promoted to University.

XVI century: due to the 1525 siege its activity was heavily crippled. Further on, the Spaniards occupation lead it to stagnation.

XVIII century: the athenaeum was reborn thanks to Habsburg rulers Mary Theresa of Austria and Joseph II. They also restored the central palace shaping it as you can see it nowadays.

Pavia University can boast many famous alumni and professors like: Girolamo Cardano, Alessandro Volta and Luigi Cavalli Sforza along with Nobel Prize recipients such as Camillo Golgi, Carlo Rubbia and Giulio Natta.
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The town was founded as a Roman colony in the first century B.C. in a land populated by Ligurians and Celts. At the beginning it was called Ticinum, by the name of its river. What is left of the Roman town is the chess‑board street plan and the brick vaulted sewerage system.

Here, in 476, Odoacer defeated Flavius Orestes after a long siege. To punish the city for helping the rival, Odoacer destroyed it completely. However, Orestes was able to escape to Piacenza, where Odoacer followed and killed him, deposing his son Romulus Augustus. This was commonly considered the end of the Western Roman Empire. The town became the head of the Gothic war against the Byzantine Empire and maybe this is why in this period it was being called Papia or “the city of the palace” or maybe the city of the Popes. The current name derives from that one. From 553 to 568 Pavia remained under the Byzantine rule and its fortifications were renewed. In 572, after three years of siege, it became the capital of the Longobard kingdom.

During the following Carolingian and Saxon Empires Pavia was still capital of Italy and several kings were crowned in St. Michael’s Basilica until the twelfth century. In the 12th century Pavia acquired the status of a self-governing commune.

In the following centuries Pavia was an important and active town. Under the Treaty of Pavia, Emperor Louis IV granted during his stay in Italy the Palatinate to his brother Duke Rudolph's descendants. Pavia held out against the domination of Milan, finally yielding to the Visconti family, rulers of that city in 1359; under the Visconti Pavia became an intellectual and artistic centre, being the seat from 1361 of the University of Pavia founded around the nucleus of the old school of law, which attracted students from many countries.

The Battle of Pavia (1525) marks a watershed in the city's fortunes, since by that time, the former cleavage between the supporters of the Pope and those of the Holy Roman Emperor had shifted to one between a French party (allied with the Pope) and a party supporting the Emperor and King of Spain Charles V. Thus during the Valois-Habsburg Italian Wars, Pavia was naturally on the Imperial (and Spanish) side. The defeat and capture of king Francis I of France during the battle ushered in a period of Spanish occupation which lasted until 1713 at the conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession. Pavia was then ruled by the Austrians until 1796, when it was occupied by the French army under Napoleon. During this Austrian period the University was greatly supported by Maria Theresa of Austria and saw a great renaissance that eventually led to a second renaissance due to the presence of leading scientists and humanists like Alessandro Volta, Lazzaro Spallanzani, Camillo Golgi among others.

In 1815, it again passed under Austrian administration until the Second War of Italian Independence (1859) and the unification of Italy one year later.

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