City of the north-eastern Lomellina area, in province of Pavia, Vigevano is located in the Regional Park of Ticino. Although erected in an area inhabited since ancient times, the first document which mentions the "Castrum Vicogebuin" dates back only to 963. It is one of the most populous and important cities of the Lomellina region and its strategic location, halfway between Pavia and Milan made it the object of expansionist aims and the rule of the Visconti, the Sforza, of the French and the Austrians, that all promoted the civic, cultural and architectural development. This quickly turned the centre into a new princely residence, distinguished, already at those times, from Milan. City of art, Vigevano boasts an artistic heritage of great importance. Starting from Piazza Ducale, one of the most beautiful in Italy, designed by Bramante between 1492 and 1494 and commissioned by Ludovico Sforza, Lord of Milan, as the imposing entrance hall of the Visconti-Sforza Castle. The latter was commissioned, in the XV century, by Luchino Visconti and in the achievement of the building, participated Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci. It appears as a complex of buildings occupying an area of 70 thousand square meters, of which 25 thousand are roof topped, plus the 36 thousand square meters of courtyard. It is one of Europe's largest fortified complex.
The construction of the Cathedral of St. Ambrose was initiated in 1532 by Duke Francesco II and completed in 1606. The interior features a Latin cross shape and presents a three-nave interior, in which notable works of art are preserved. In the first altar on the left of the entrance there is the wooden model of the church, designed by Antonio da Lonate. In the third altar on the left, an altarpiece in tempera of the school of Leonardo. The main XVIII century central altar features an altarpiece with figures covered with gold lames and silk embroidery, taken form a XVI sacramental. In the right transept, paintings attributed to d'Alba Macrinus Bernardino and Ferrari (early XVI century).
Not to miss: among other places of interest:
- the Sforzesca, a fine example of rural architecture, set on a natural terrace overlooking the river Ticino. It is the first example in Italy of a fortified agricultural complex with an internal courtyard;
- the Church of San Bernardo, built Outside the city walls and demolished in 1498, rebuilt and enlarged in later centuries;
- the Torre del Bramante
- the International Shoe Museum, as Vigevano has always been the capital of the Italian shoe industry.