The town of Piacenza is located in the north-west of Italy, in the region of Emilia-Romagna - not far from Milan. The benevolence and hospitality of the inhabitants of Piacenza is eloquently testified by the inscription carved on the gates of the city: "Gentlemen, welcome! And also all those who come." The name of the city also hides the promise of a wonderful pastime, because the original name given to the settlement - Placenia - comes from the Latin "lamenter", which means "pleasant" (place).
The city was founded by the Romans in 218 BC. and soon became an important military point. The fall of the Roman Empire turned into a series of aggressive attacks for Piacenza: first the Goths, then the Lombards in the middle of the VI century and, finally, in the IX century, the Franks.
Piacenza gained the status of a free commune in 1126 and, having survived the heyday, got stuck in wars over territory with neighboring cities. In 1545, Piacenza was annexed to the papal possessions and became part of the duchy donated by Paul III to his son Pietro Farnese, being in the shadow of his more successful “neighbor” Parma.
Piacenza is famous for its incredible landscapes.
After the plague in the 16th century and the capture of Napoleon’s troops, the reign of the city was the reign of Maria Louise of Austria, who developed art and education, as well as agriculture and the construction of bridges. In 1860, Piacenza became part of the united Italy.
There are two universities in Piacenza, so the energy of youth rules here. At the same time, history left a characteristic imprint of “provincialism” on the “younger sister” of Parma, which has its own charm, emphasized by the beauty of nature surrounding the city.
How to get to Piacenza
The nearest airports to Piacenza are Milan (67 km), Parma (58 km) and Bologna (150 km). Of all three cities, direct trains run to Piacenza.
From Milan to Piacenza can be reached in 1 hour 15 minutes, from Parma in 40 minutes, the journey from Bologna will take from 1.5 to 2 hours. The cost of the trip will depend on the comfort and speed of the train, but in any case it will be at least € 5.40 if traveling from Parma, € 6.70 if traveling from Milan, and € 11.10 from Bologna.
Direct trains to Piacenza run from Milan, Bologna and Parma
You can also get to Piacenza from various cities of Italy by bus, but the train is more preferable: the price will come out plus or minus the same, and the bus is much inferior in speed and comfort.
Another option to get to the city from the airports in the vicinity is to use a taxi. It will come out more expensive, but much more comfortable and non-stop. Given the distance, taxi drivers at airports can refuse such a trip, and therefore it is better to call a car in advance via the Internet. You can calculate the current rates and order a transfer by the time of arrival on this site.
From various cities in Italy to Piacenza can be reached by bus
Piacenza is also easily accessible by car. The journey from Milan or from Parma will take you about an hour. The A1 motorway leads from the north and south to the city, and the A21 motorway from the east. Freeways in Italy are paid, and you can drive to Piacenza for about 8 €.
To save on car rental in Italy, it is better to look for a car through a specialized price comparison service. The largest such site in Europe is considered rentalcars. You can book a car in advance and pick up at the airport immediately after arrival. Compare prices and book a car on this page.
Hotels and lodging
The city, spread in the valleys of several rivers at once, is famous for its incredible landscapes, so the so-called agro hotels are especially popular here. As a rule, they are located on a farm, farm or in a suburban estate. Here you can count on beautiful views, organic food and great air.
A suitable hotel can be found in the very center of the city.
If the rural flavor is not to your liking, it will not be difficult to find a suitable hotel in the city center. To avoid overpayments, the hotel can be booked for one of the special promotions regularly held by booking. A list of current special offers can be found below:
Climate and weather
Piacenza is located in a zone of mild Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by hot summers and cool, but not severe winters. In summer, the air temperature can reach + 40C, but in winter it rarely drops below minus 5C.
What to see and what to do in Piacenza
The focus of the city’s main attractions is Piazza Cavalli, which got its name from the equestrian statues of the sculptor Francesco Moki.
Cavalli Square - the center of the main attractions
The facades of the two largest Piacenza palaces are facing the square: the Gothic Palace (Palazzo Gotico) and the Palace of the Ruler (Palazzo del Governatore). Gothic palace (also known as the Palace of the Commune) was erected at the end of the 13th century and is an outstanding example of medieval architecture with lancet arches and arches. Once the city government was located here, today the building is used for public events.
At the end of the 18th century, Cavalli Square appeared Governor's Palaceadorned with a sundial by Gian Francesco Baratieri. The rulers of the city sat here until the accession of Piacenza to Italy. Today the palace houses the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Several museums are located in the Palazzo Farnese
Another palace - Palazzo farnese - Located in the north of the city and currently unites several museums under its roof: art, archaeological, pinakothek and museum of carriages. It contains several works by Botticelli, as well as the famous bronze “Liver from Piacenza”, associated with ancient fortune-telling on the insides of sacrificial animals. By the way, the construction of the palace was never completed at the time.
The oldest building in the city is Cathedral of Piacenza. It took more than a hundred years to build it, and construction was completed in 1233. The interior of the cathedral is composed of frescoes by Camillo Procaccini and Lodovico Carracci, painted in the XVI-XVII centuries.
The construction of the Cathedral was completed in 1233
In Piacenza you can also find a church for which Raphael wrote the Sistine Madonna. In the middle of the XVIII century the painting was sold, so today in the church of San Sisto you can see only a copy. Of the temple buildings, it is also worth mentioning the Basilica of San Savino with a 12th-century mosaic on the floor and the Basilica of San Francesco, where a decree was signed on the annexation of Piacenza to Italy.
Piacenza is also justly proud of its municipal theater, which the townspeople call La Scala in miniature due to its similarity to the Milan theater. The main city festivities take place on Faxal Boulevard, 2 km long, surrounded by Renaissance walls.
The city usually has hot summers and cool but not severe winters.
If you wish, you can easily go from Piacenza for 1 day to Milan, Parma or Bologna. You can read more about these cities in other articles on BlogoItaliano.
Useful Related Articles
- Parma city in Italy: attractions, history, how to get
- Bologna: how to get, where to stay and what to see
- Map of railways and train routes in Italy
Photos by: Europcar, Expedia, ilpiacenza.it, Yuri Pavlov, Dwight Peck, Cult-turist.ru, selfguide.ru, Pro Loco Emilia Romagna.