Located in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, Piacenza is one of the region’s prime spots, replete with wonderful architecture and equally good restaurants.

Previously inhabited by Celtic and Ligurian tribes, Piacenza was established with the Roman takeover in 218BC, becoming one of the first Roman military colonies and quickly prospering as an agricultural production centre. Already a significant regional power, the post-Empire period was jointly marked by the expansion of Christianity and progressive takeovers courtesy of the Goths, the Byzantines, the Lombards and the Franks up to the 9th century AD.

Finally established as an independent commune after 1126, the following centuries proved Piacenza’s golden era, as the city established itself as one of the richest cities in Europe. Later dominated by the French, the Bourbons and the Habsburgs, Piacenza nevertheless continued to flourish before being incorporated into the new united Italy in 1848.

Regional ties are still strong in Piacenza though, with the Piacentine variant of the Emilia-Romagnolo dialect audible throughout the city. However, this only adds to the charm of one of Italy’s most impressive and attractive destinations for both the culture vulture and the bon viveur.


Piacenza’s architecture is startling by any standards, with a huge array of fabulous religious and secular buildings on show. Built in 1281, the Palazzo Comunale, otherwise known as 'Il Gotico', is perhaps the most startling, with its incredibly bright, awe-inspiring pink marble façade matched by fabulous frescoes within the interior.

Built on a former mid-14th century fortress at the behest of Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, and completed in 1602, the Palazzo Farnese is the cultural nexus of Piacenza. Restored during the 20th century after falling into disrepair, it now hosts a number of artworks (including one piece by the Old Master Sandro Botticelli) and museums, including the Museum of the Risorgimento and the Archaeological Museum (containing the Bronze Liver of Piacenza, an Etruscan model originating from the 1st century BC roughly).

Built between 1122 and 1233, the Romanesque-styled Duomo di Piacenza cannot be missed. As well as a glorious façade in Veronese pink marble, the Duomo contains frescoes by the 16th century artist Ludovico Carracci as well as the relics of Saint Justine.

Equally impressive is the Basilica of Sant’Antonio, completed in 375 AD but renovated in the 15th century. With its distinctive octagonal tower, impressive frescoes and connection to the city’s patron (hosting his relics), it’s a truly marvellous sight.

However, Piacenza is packed with other spectacular buildings like the 12th century Church of St. Francis and Bascilia of San Savino as well as the 15th century Church of St. Sixtus. Feel free to explore, you won’t be disappointed.

Football is the most popular sport in Piacenza and the local team, Piacenza FC, play their games in Serie B at the Stadio Leonardo Garilli (tickets can be purchased cheaply and easily). Former players include the World Cup winner Alberto Gilardino.


The main shopping districts in Piacenza are the Via Roma, the Via Dante and the Via Garibaldi.

The city’s weekly market takes place on Saturdays in the city centre.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Piacenza’s gastronomic pedigree is one of the city’s main attractions. Being major producers of pancetta and salame, a variety of meats, game and poultry form the basis for most dishes along with the staple foods of corn and rice (risotto in particular can be found on practically every menu).

Local specialities include pisarei e fasö (handmade pasta and beans), pulaita e quai (polenta with quails) and bomba di riso (ball of baked rice with meat in the centre) as well as fabulous desserts like mostarda di frutta (fruits in a syrup flaboured with mustard) and turtlit (fruit dumplings, traditionally served at Easter). Piacenza is also a wine-producing region and the local wines are well worth trying out.

Among the many restaurants in the city, La Pireina on Via del Borghetto and pizzerias like La Corte near Borgonovo come highly recommended.

Most of the nightlife takes place in the province of Piacenza and the hills. Plenty of great discotheques can be found nearby like Avila near Rivergaro, Comoedia in San Nicolò and El Siglo de la Reina in the small village of Sarmato.

Tourist Information

IAT Tourist OfficeP.tta Mercanti, 7PiacenzaTel: +39 0()523 329 324iat@comune.piacenza.itwww.province.piacenza.it/turismo


The nearest airports are Bologna Airport, Bergamo Airport and Milan Malpensa International Airport. The best option is Milan Malpensa, due to the available international and domestic connecting flights and the train services to Piacenza.

British Airways, Easyjet and Alitalia are among the airlines that use Milan Malpensa to and from British destinations.

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