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Almo Collegio Borromeo
This College, founded by St. Charles in 1561, is one of the most beautiful mannerist mansions in Lombardy. It was constructed between 1561 and 1588 on the project of Pellegrino Pellegrini, alias Tibaldi. Afterwards, Richichi enriched the complex with beautiful Italian gardens. This “palace of Learning”, as Vasari called it, looks on to one of the most admirable squares in Pavia.
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Its front has a strong plastic relief underlined by the decorated windows alternating with niches and a monumental main doorway. In the early 17th century the large hall on the first floor was decorated with paintings dedicated to Saint Carlo Borromeo.
The vault and the north wall are the work of Cesare Nebbia from Orvieto.
The south wall shows the laying of the cardinal’s hat, Federico Zuccari’s work. In 1818-1820 the college was achieved and enlarged towards the river. Thus the nearby medieval church of San Giovanni in Borgo was demolished and its rich sculptures are now in the town museums.
The College was founded to enable talented but poor students, who could not consequently afford to attend university, to devote themselves to studies. Meanwhile, during the Counter-Reformation the College was to warrant adequate moral values. In the 18th and 19th centuries jurists destined for highly responsible positions in the Church and Milan’s State attended this prestigious college.
Piazza Collegio Borromeo 1-5, Pavia
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