Historical profile

In the 18th century, the Bellisomi-Vistarino Palace was the residence of a noble family. It is situated in the heart of Pavia, facing the Ticino River. It is a proper “Villa of delight”, with frescoed rooms, spaces reserved for music, for reading and conversation, a park, a viewpoint, a chapel and stables.

Gaetano Annibale Bellisomi, a member of the Pavia aristocracy, was responsible for having the palace built, and wanted it to appear as the most advanced paradigm of the art of the period. He asked the architect Francesco Croce to build a magnificent countryside residence inserted into an urban context.

Today this residence has a surface area of 5600 m2. Amongst the most important examples of the baroque period in Lombardy, the Bellisomi-Vistarino palace is a real jewel of 18th century architecture and a happy example of integration between a city and a river.

During the 19th century, the Palace was bought by the Vistarino Counts, who renovated the rooms and the decoration, in many cases without removing the preexisting decoration. This overlapping of 18th and 19th century styles is one of the unique aspects of the palace, and adds to its historical interest.

The palace has recently been brought to life by extensive renovation works carried out between 2007 and 2013.The palace is now the property of the University of Pavia and is the site of the University Foundation Alma Mater Ticinensis, which organizes high level training courses, conferences, seminars and concerts.