A Last Minute Trip to Pavia

14.3.16 Unknown 0 Comments

Painted houses on the river bank
If, when you think of Italy, you imagine cobblestone streets and rows of buildings painted in slightly-peeling pastel colours - Pavia is your imagination come alive.

Last Friday, I headed to Milan's Central Station with the aim of escaping the city for the afternoon and an €8 return ticket to Pavia provided me with the perfect excuse.

I'm still so incredibly amazed at just how cheap travelling by train is here. It beats a £50 return ticket from Leicester to Preston to get home from uni in the UK!

Aside from a quick google and looking at a TripAdvisor page, I had no expectations when getting off the train 30 minutes after leaving Milan. I must have looked fairly comfortable though as I was asked for directions twice between leaving the platform and getting to the main station door. Unsurprisingly, I was unable to help out but at least my Italian is now good enough that I was able to explain that I was here for the first time. The ego boost that followed being able to communicate successfully didn't hurt the situation either.

As it's a fairly small town, I found it was possible to walk from the train station to the Duomo in the centre without using a map. In spite of the simplicity of this task, I will admit that I was pretty impressed with myself seeing as I'm normally dependent on my phone to get anywhere and Pavia is somewhere that I've never been before. It was my first small adventure in completely solo-travel, even though it is only a 30minute train ride from Milan...as Tesco reminds us - every little helps!

It sounds anti-climactic, but I can't think of any word better than 'pretty' to describe Pavia. It was exactly that wherever I looked, picture perfect.

After wandering round the streets and main piazzas checking out the Duomo, shops and Basilica San Michele Maggiore I headed down to the covered bridge and snapped a few photos. The sky was changing colours between yellow, pink and blue and I just stood and soaked it in for a while. It may have now been over 6 months since I first moved to Italy but I still can't quite believe my luck at times, I know it sounds cheesy and cliche.

Because I am a student in Milan and not just here for travel reasons, it is easy to find myself in the routine of going to and from class and leaving my day there. It's moments like I had on that bridge, watching the sky and the people sat on the banks that reminds me I'm in a whole other place.

I've been coming to Italy on and off for most of my life, as I said in my Verona post (read here), as it used to be our family holiday destination, and I can't imagine that ending any time soon. However, I only have another 3 months of living in the country and am definitely feeling the need to soak up as much as I can whilst I am still here.

Expect to see many the Instagram post (follow me here!) and more ramblings about Italian life in the coming weeks/months.

Have you been to Milan or Pavia?