Piacenza is situated on the right bank of the Po, a few kilometers from the Ligurian Apennines... A city with Lombard heart, highly influenced by Emilian mood.
An entire medieval city, with some glimpses of Renaissance encased in elegant portals... it is called the "City of Palaces", the same center of Piacenza is a jumble of eras and stories.
The pink marble and sandstone of the cathedral will amaze you, as well as the Governor's Palace and the Palazzo Farnese.
We suggest, unlike the usual monuments, to move into the garden Margherita which opens in front of the Railway Station.
Approximately 20,000 square meters of green: a large landscaped garden with curved paths and patches of trees, full of mysterious caves, temples and obelisks. A little curiosity: Giovanni Motta, has painted on the wall the disappeared perspective of a castle surrounded by a forest ... a charming reminiscence ...
Green is the undisputed master: cedars of Lebanon, beech and pine trees. A green city!
Trebbia was defined by Hemingway the most beautiful valley all over the world... and it was really right!
The Center of Trebbia Valley is Bobbio with his famous Devil's Bridge and the Abbey of St. Columban: crossroads of art, culture, science... a walk along the river is a must; the atmosphere recalls Lunigiana and Pontremoli, with huts perched in the distance and faded colors ofthe valley.
Then there are Val d'Arda, Val Tidone, the Aveto, Val Nure... beautiful landscapes in spring and summer.
Nearby Piacenza there are also dozens of Castles, to remember his medieval and ancient vocation.
Well worth the Rivalta Castle, the medieval village of Vigoleno and that of Castell and the Rock of Olgisio (beautiful view), the Castle of Paderna and Agazzano. Try them all... if you can!
Also worth seeing Veleia with its Roman remains.
The ingredients are poor but resolute, simple and unique. As the raw materials.
Let’s try anolini: fresh pasta stuffed in Emilia with a particular history and, you will find a lot of similar kind of pasta called anolino, tortellino and cappelletto. Change the stuffed (with meat or bread crumbs and cheese only), but the basic ingredients are the same: flour, oil and eggs. They are served floating in broath. Broth so called "third", obtained by separated boiling of beef, chicken and pork.
The "pissaréi e faso" are gnocchi with tasty beans, covered with an extraordinaire sauce.
Not only that: you will find rice bomb and potato gnocchi.
Let’s try braised donkey and the King pig in all its manifestations.
For lovers of vegetable omelette with bavaroni is an excellent alternative.
Last but not least: the polenta. Botched with meat sauce, served with grilled pork, fried or seasoned. A meltin’ pot dish, poor and old as the world. Try it!
Finish off your culinary amusements with a good chestnut cake (pattona) or with a homemade apple pie. Washed down with a fine red wine or a Gutturnio Trebbianino of Trebbia. Ortrugo deserve a special mention, as well as Pinot gray and black and Malvasia. Fine and fruity wines, full and round.
Enjoy all of this local food in an historical context: try Ristorante Vecchia Piacenza; rooms are all painted by Sign.ra Salvoni. The restaurant is located inside a '700 building and offers over 300 Italian wines. Not only excellent food but the best Emilian tradition.
The province of Piacenza, made up of hills and vineyards, can be covered in an easy and funny way on horseback.
The beautiful Agriturismo Prato verde in Prato Ottesola will give you the opportunity to have wonderful walks in the hills, of varying difficulty.
Piacenza is also cut by the Via Francigena connecting Canterbury to Rome: try to take a step on foot, you will not regret.
After the initial stretch along the Via Emilia, you will cross the countryside of Piacenza. A way to revive the ancient nature as a pilgrim.
Discover all eco friendly accommodations in the province of Piacenza: organic farms surrounded bu natural parks, such as the beautiful Trebbia Valley, small eco B&B that offers traditional dishes, such as pissaréi e fasò.
Author: Angela Sebastianelli