PIACENZA

The symbol of the city is Palazzo Gotico, dominating Piazza Cavalli, so called for the two equestrian statues by Alessandro and Ranuccio Farnese, considered masterpieces of Baroque sculpture.

A symbol of the Renaissance is Palazzo Farnese, a ducal residence commissioned by Margaret of Austria.

Today it houses the Civic Museums that exhibit, among other things, the valuable Tondo by Sandro Botticelli.

The College founded by Giulio Cardinal Alberoni is worth a visit: it houses the precious Library, eighteen wonderful Flemish tapestries (16th-17th centuries) and the painting of Ecce Homo by Antonello da Messina.

What is unbelievable is the number of castles, many of which are still well preserved and inhabited.

Almost all of them are located in villages that hide authentic treasures, so many that three of them, Bobbio, Castell’Arquato and Vigoleno, are included in the Circuit of the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy.

Located on the right bank of the river Po, Piacenza is the westernmost city of Emilia Romagna.

Founded in 218 B.C. as a Roman colony, it wa s an outpost against northern invasions and an important commercial port along the ancient Via Emilia, until the area of the current province of Rimini.

During the Middle Ages, the city was a free municipality, rich in crafts and commerce and could count on a decent well-being.

The sixteenth century was the period of greatest splendor for Piacenza: this city was in fact seat of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza and under the family of the Farnese dukes.

With the coming of Napoleone Bonaparte, it was stripped of different works and in 1848 it earned the name of “Primogenita”, because it was the first Italian city which asked for the annexation to the nascent Kingdom of Sardinia.

Piacenza is a city of art and has a remarkable artistic heritage, the result of the millennial history that has characterized it.

The territory of the province extends along the southern bank of the Po river where the creeks flow and go downhill from the Apennines and cross the four main valleys.

In the fertile and intensively cultivated plain there are different farms, typical of the traditional low-lying landscape.

Instead, the rolling hills are mainly rich of vineyards.

The geographical position, at the crossroads among Lombardia, Piemonte, Liguria and Emilia, has always determined the strategic-military fortunes and still makes it an important motorway and railway node.

Visiting Piacenza and its territory means taking a journey to discover the flavours of the excellent local gastronomic tradition.

The most famous products of this area are certainly cold cuts, still worked with artisanal systems that guarantee their genuineness.

Three of them have obtained the DOP mark: coppa, salame and pancetta; on the wine-growing side, the province of Piacenza boasts seventeen DOC wines, including the red Gutturnio and the white Ortrugo, without forgetting the Malvasia.