Vigevano (Italian: [viˈdʒɛːvano, -ˈdʒeː-]; Western Lombard: Avgevan) is a comune (municipality) in the province of Pavia, in the Italian region of Lombardy. A historic art town, it is also renowned for shoemaking and is one of the main centres of Lomellina, a rice-growing agricultural district. Vigevano received the honorary title of city with a decree of Duke Francis II Sforza on 2 February 1532. It is famed for its Renaissance Piazza Ducale in the centre of the town.

Avgevan (Lombard)
Città di Vigevano
Piazza Ducale, with the Cathedral façade
Piazza Ducale, with the Cathedral façade
Coat of arms of Vigevano
Vigevano within the province of Pavia
Vigevano within the province of Pavia
Location of Vigevano
Vigevano is located in Italy
Location of Vigevano in Italy
Vigevano is located in Lombardy
Vigevano (Lombardy)
Coordinates: 45°19′02″N 8°51′29″E / 45.31722°N 8.85806°E / 45.31722; 8.85806
ProvincePavia (PV)
FrazioniPiccolini, Morsella, Fogliano, Sforzesca, Buccella
 • MayorAndrea Ceffa (LN)
 • Total82 km2 (32 sq mi)
116 m (381 ft)
 (31 January 2015)[2]
 • Total63,459
 • Density770/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0381
WebsiteOfficial website



The earliest records of Vigevano date back to 963, when for the first time is mentioned in documents the castle of Vigevano.[3] Vigevano was given in 1154 by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in Pavia.[4]

Vigevano was accordingly besieged and taken by the Milanese in 1201 and again in 1275. In 1328 it finally surrendered to Azzone Visconti, and thereafter shared the political fortunes of Milan. The Church of San Pietro Martire (St Peter Martyr) was built, with the adjacent Dominican convent, by Filippo Maria Visconti in 1445. In the last years of Visconti domination it sustained a siege by Francesco Sforza. Once he was settled in power in Lombardy, Sforza arranged for Vigevano to be set up as the seat of a bishop and provided its revenues.

Main sights


Castello Sforzesco


Vigevano is crowned by the Castello Sforzesco, a stronghold rebuilt 1492–94 for Ludovico Maria Sforza (Ludovico il Moro), the great patron born in the town, who transformed the fortification/hunting lodge of Luchino Visconti (who in turn had re-used a Lombard fortress) into a rich noble residence, at the cusp of Gothic and Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci was his guest at Vigevano, as was Bramante, who is ascribed with the tall tower that watches over the piazza from the Castello Sforzesco. The old castle has a unique raised covered road, high enough for horsemen to ride through, that communicates between the new palace and the old fortifications; there is a Falconry, an elegant loggiato supported by 48 columns, and, in the rear area of the mastio, the Ladies' Loggia made for Duchess Beatrice d'Este.

Piazza Ducale


Vigevano's main attraction is the Piazza Ducale, an elongated rectangle that is almost in the proportions 1:3, built for Ludovico Sforza, starting in 1492-93 and completed in record time, unusual for early Renaissance town planning. Piazza Ducale was actually planned to form a noble forecourt to his castle, unified by the arcades that completely surround the square, an amenity of the new North Italian towns built in the 13th century. The town's main street enters through a sham arcaded façade that preserves the unity of the space as at the Place des Vosges. Ludovico demolished the former palazzo of the commune of Vigevano to create the space.

At the outside of town is the La Sforzesca, a rectangular villa-fortress with corner palace-towers, built in 1486 by Ludovico il Moro.



In the 17th century one end of the Piazza Ducale was enclosed by the concave Baroque façade of the Cathedral, cleverly adjusted to bring the ancient duomo into a line perpendicular to the axis of the piazza and centered on it.

The Cathedral was begun in 1532 under Duke Francesco II, who commissioned the design to Antonio da Lonate. The edifice was completed in 1606. The interior is on the Latin cross plan, with a nave and two aisles, and houses works by Macrino d'Alba, Bernardino Ferrari and others, as well as tempera polyptych of the school of Leonardo da Vinci.



For centuries, the city was a manufacturing centre, especially for the silk and cotton industry.

The key sector of Vigevano industry is shoemaking. Handily[clarification needed] shoemaking began to expand during the First World War and, by the 1950s, Vigevano was known as Italy's "shoe capital".



Twin towns



  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ Population data from Istat
  3. ^ Romanoni, Fabio (2020). "Insediamenti di età longobarda in Lomellina tra Ticino, Sesia e Po". Longobardi 569- 2019. 1450° anniversario della presenza longobarda tra Ticino, Sesia e Po (in Italian). Vigevano: Società Storica Vigevanese. pp. 34–36. Retrieved 12 April 2024.
  4. ^ Enciclopedia Treccani. "Vigevano". (in Italian). ISTITUTO DELLA ENCICLOPEDIA ITALIANAFONDATA DA GIOVANNI TRECCANI. Retrieved 12 April 2024.
  5. ^ Fisher, James (2000). "Duse, Eleonora (1858-1924), actress". American National Biography. doi:10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.1801621. ISBN 978-0-19-860669-7. Retrieved 22 January 2022.