Pavia is the capital of the fertile province of Pavia, placed in the south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 kilometres (22 miles) south of Milan. With its population, about 68,000, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of the Lombards from 572 to 774. It is known for agricultural products including wine, rice, cereals, and dairy products. Moreover, it is the home to the ancient University of Pavia (founded in 1361), which together with the IUSS (Institute for Advanced Studies of Pavia) and its colleges belongs to the Pavia Study System. The city possesses many artistic and cultural treasures: its most famous landmark is the Certosa di Pavia, or Carthusian monastery, founded in 1396 and located eight kilometres (5.0 miles) north of the city.
Among other notable structures are: the Cathedral of Pavia (Duomo di Pavia), Basilica of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro ("St. Peter in Golden Sky"), Castello Visconteo, Santa Maria del Carmine and the medieval towers that still shape the town skyline.