ItaloTreno takes you to discover Piacenza, one of the capital cities of Emilia Romagna, an ideal destination for a day trip thanks to Italo’s new connections.
If you love food and art, plan your trip with Italo to beautiful Piacenza, a city rich in artistic heritage and famous for food and wine delicacies. Thanks to Italotreno’s regional connections, discover this city in Emilia Romagna, a land of hills and medieval villages. One day is enough for you to admire the wonders of Piacenza and learn about its culinary tradition.
Here’s what to do and see in Piacenza in one day
- Piazza Cavalli
- Palazzo Gotico
- Palazzo del Governatore – The Governor’s Palace
- Church of Saint Francis
- Piazza Duomo – Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta e Santa Giustina
- Basilica di Sant’Antonino
- What to eat in Piacenza
- To Piacenza with Italo
Begin this day tour of Piacenza from the centrally located Piazza Cavalli, a beautiful square in the heart of the Emilian city named for the equestrian statues of Ranuccio and Alessandro Farnese. Marvel at these two imposing bronze masterpieces of Baroque sculpture on either side of the Gothic Palace, set on white Carrara marble plinths, and the splendid buildings that encircle the square.
Remain in Piazza Cavalli and visit the Town Hall, a symbol of Piacenza also known as il Gotico. Half of the building’s facade is made of pink Verona marble and half of red terracotta; it is decorated with geometric patterns and Ghibelline swallowtail battlements. Stroll under the low portico, used in the Middle Ages for popular gatherings, and admire the stately windows with the wide balcony that illuminate the upper chamber. Finally, it’s noteworthy that Francesco Petrarch was a guest in this palace in June 1351.
Also in Piazza Cavalli, opposite the Gothic Palace, admire the imposing neo-classical Governor’s Palace, which currently houses the Chamber of Commerce. Pay close attention to the facade because you will find a walled sundial and perpetual calendar.
The fourth stop on this tour of Piacenza is the beautiful Church of Saint Francis with an austere façade in Lombard Gothic style, built by the Order of Friars Minor between 1278 and 1363. Admire the central rose window and the white marble portal. In the interior, observe the dome of the chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and decorated with frescoes by Giovan Battista Trotti known as Il Malosso and paintings by Giuseppe Manieri.
The fifth stop on this one-day itinerary in Piacenza is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and Santa Giustina, the city’s main church and one of the most important monuments of the Po Valley Romanesque style. Admire the beautiful façade, the large rose window in the middle, and the charming terracotta bell tower on the top of which is a gilded copper wind chime angel. Inside, visit the vast basilica with its Latin cross plan and the various frescoes by Procaccini and Carracci.
Do not miss the wonderful dome and its fabulous decorations by Morazzone and Guercino. In the pictorial cycle that traverses the perimeter of the dome, you can observe the Prophets. In the lunettes, you find, in alternating sequence, episodes from the childhood of Jesus and eight Sibyls.
We suggest you climb up the dome and take a guided tour through its narrow spiral staircases and attics (the charge is €10). You will enjoy a truly unique experience, thanks also to a splendid view of the beautiful Piacenza cityscape. Outside the Cathedral, noteworthy is the famous cage located under the belfry; Ludovico il Moro allegedly commissioned it in 1495 to lock up opponents (although, to date, there is no official record of its actual use).
The last and most evocative stop of this tour is the visit to the Basilica of Sant’Antonino. Admire the imposing Romanesque church with the large octagonal tower and the beautiful cloister. The Basilica is dedicated to the city’s patron saint and inside holds the saint’s relics. Be sure to have a look at the magnificent pipe organ and the visit to the chapter museum of the Basilica of Sant’Antonino which houses works by Procaccini and Trotti and the splendid furnishings.
Piacenza boasts an excellent culinary tradition. You absolutely must try the trio of PDO salumi piacentini: coppa, pancetta and salami; they are still hand-made according to age-old recipes. Do not miss the anolini or piserei and fasö, the tortelli con la codaand the dumplings of flour and breadcrumbs seasoned with bean sauce, lard, onion and tomato. For wine, we recommend you to taste the Gutturnio dei Colli Piacentini and the Malvasia.
Discover Piacenza and enjoy a unique travel experience thanks to Italo’s new connections with regional buses and trains. Discover itineraries and connections and buy your ticket on Italotreno now.