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Piacenza and An Interesting Excursion to the Abbey of Bobbio

Updated on December 6, 2014

Piacenza and the Abbey of Bobbio

History of Piacenza and the Abbey of Bobbio

Piacenza suffered frequent assaults and destructions in ancient times by the Gauls and then by the Goths, but in the late Middle Ages, together with Milan, Piacenza was fiercely opposed to Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Since the half of the 13th century, the old city was ruled by the powerful family of the Pallavicino, and then it belonged to the Visconti family, the Sforza, the French and, finally, to the papacy (16th century). Later (18th century) Piacenza belonged to the Duchy of Piacenza, Parma and Guastalla under the Bourbon family, until the Napoleon period when it was ruled by Maria Louisa, second wife of Napoleon. After her death, the ancient city was again under Bourbon rule until to Unification of Italy (1861).

Piacenza is rich in churches dating back to Medieval Ages, in which worked some of the most famous Italian painters such as Annibale and Ludovico Carracci. Worth visiting is the Church of S. Savino dating from the fifteenth century. The Duomo, dates back to fourteenth century, while its imposing Bell Tower, about 200 or more feet high, was built in the first half of the 14th century. The Duomo stands for its porches, bas-reliefs, and pillars engraved with suggestive mythological figures while the interior is decorated with frescoes by Guercino.

Of great artistic importance is also the Church of S. Antonino (4th century) and its bell-tower, decorated with beautiful cornices. Worth visiting are also the Church of S. Francesco, and the Palazzo Comunale (13th century) characterized by a great variety of styles. From Piacenza you can make an interesting excursion to the Abbey of Bobbio, located in the Piacenza-Bobbio diocese, whose founder was Saint Columban, the well-known eremite who died in the 7th century.

The excursion to the Abbey of Bobbio is a golden opportunity to relish this area where the landscape is varied between the plains and the Apennine covered with forests, through the ancient Roman Via Emilia, where you can taste some local dishes such as tortellini stuffed with ricotta and spinach, and then, of course, the famous lasagne.


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