Image 1. Collegio Borromeo, Universita di Pavia, 1564-88.  Photo by F125d, 17 July 2015.  Source: Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Collegio Borromeo was founded in 1561. Its aim was to use the estate of cardinal Carlo Borromeo to create an institution supporting promising students with inadequate economic means. This remains the aim of the Fondazione Collegio Borromeo today. Its grand mannerist building was constructed between 1564-88 on the design of Pellegrino Tibaldi. Regarded as the oldest 'collegio di merito' in Italy still active, it enjoys a rivalry with Pavia's contemporaneous Collegio Ghislieri.

Image 2.  Collegio Ghislieri, Universita di Pavia, 1571-85. Photo: 7 July 2016. Source: Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Founded in 1567 by Pope Pio V Ghislieri, the college which bears his name was constructed between 1571 and 1585 by Pellegrino Tibaldi, one of the leading architects and painters of the time. Its purpose was to prepare deserving young men lacking financial means for the responsibilities of government. The austerity of the architecture suggests the serious purpose also expressed in its motto: 'Sapientia cum probitate morum coniuncta humanae mentis perfectio' ('Wisdom conjoined with moral integrity is the perfection of the human mind').