Emilia Romagna - Places to Visit - Piacenza
The town (61 m.) is situated near the confluence of the Trebbia and Po rivers, in the northern part of the region at the Lombardy boundary.
Inhabited since ancient times, it was the Roman `Placentia', of which the historical centre still conserves the urban layout.
Piacenza is an important road junction and commercial node. After the Barbarian (Goths and Lombards), Frankish and Imperial periods, it became a free municipality until (12th century) it was an object of contention between the Signorie; in 1332 it formed part of the Duchy of Milan.
In 1512, Piacenza was ruled by the Popes; Paul III later turned it into a Duchy together with Parma (1545), granting it to the Farnese family. Except for the Napoleonic period, it remained an independent State, until 1860, the year in which it was united with the Kingdom of Italy.
Monuments: Duomo (12th-13th century, Gothic-Romanesque), Basilica di San Savino (12th century), Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) known as `il Gotico' (13th century), equestrian statues of the Farnese family (Baroque), Madonna di Campagna (16th century), Sant'Antonino (11th century, Romanesque), Palazzo Farnese (Renaissance).
The economy of the town is based, apart from the distribution and commerce of agriculture and animal products from the surrounding plain, on a well-developed industrial sector connected with agriculture (canneries, wine, sugar factories and flour mills), as well as textile, building materials, engineering, paper and chemical works.
Events: Agricultural and livestock exhibition, Festa di San Prospero (24th November).
Famous People: L. Calpurnio Pisone (Roman senator, 2nd century BC.), Gregory X (Pope, 1210-1276), Giuseppe Nicolini (musician, 1762-1842), Melchiorre Gioia (economist, 1767-1829), Pietro Giordani (man of letters, 1774-1848).
Cultural Institutions: Galleria d'Arte Moderna Ricci-Oddi (modern art gallery), Museo Civico (museum), Galleria Alberoni (works of art by Antonello da Messina, Salvator Rosa, Guido Reni) with library and Museo del Teatro (theatre museum).
In the Province: Corte Maggiore (methane and oilfields), Grazzano Visconti (interesting village), Castell'Arquato (Museo Geologico, Museo della Collegiata), Bobbio (Abbazia Benedettina di San Colombano, Benedictine Abbey), Fiorenzuola d'Arda, Lugagnano Val d'Arda (archeological zone and Antiquarium di Velleia) and Monticelli d'Ongina (Museo Etnografico del Po).