official_name = Comune di Piacenza
img_coa = Piacenza-Stemma.png
Francesco Mochi’s 1615 equestrian statue of Ranuccio II Farnesein the city’s main square, "Piazza dei cavalli".
region = RegioneIT|sigla=EMR
province = ProvinciaIT (short form)|sigla=PC (PC)
mayor = Roberto Reggi (centre-left; elected
elevation_m = 61
area_total_km2 = 118.46
population_as_of = 31-05-2007
population_total = 99897
coordinates = coord|45|2|52|N|9|42|2|E|region:IT_type:city(99897)
gentilic = Piacentini
telephone = 0523
postalcode = 29100
frazioni = Vallera, San Bonico, Pittolo, La Verza, Mucinasso, I Vaccari,
Roncaglia, Montale, Borghetto, Le Mose, Mortizza, Gerbido
Antonino of Piacenza( 4 July), Giustina
mapx = #expr:45 + 2 / 60.0
mapy = #expr:9 + 42 / 60.0
native_name = Piacenza
name = Piacenza
website = [http://www.comune.piacenza.it www.comune.piacenza.it]
Piacenza (Placentia in
Latinand old-fashioned English, Piasëinsa in the local dialect of Emiliano-Romagnolo) is a cityin the Emilia-Romagnaregion of northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Piacenza.
Before its settlement by the Romans, the area was populated by
Celtic and Liguriantribes. The Etruscans were well known for the practice of divining by the entrails of sheep. A bronze sculptureof a liver called the " Liver of Piacenza" was discovered in 1877 near Piacenza complete with the name of regions marked on it which were assigned to various gods. It has been connected to the practice of haruspicy. Piacenza was founded in 218 BC (according to the tradition, on May 31), the first of the Roman military colonies, and was formerly called Placentia in both Latin and English.
In Placentia and the nearby colony,
Cremona, 6,000 Latin colonists were sent, in particular members of the Equestrian class of Rome. In the same year as the city's founding, Hannibalwon the Battle of Trebbiain Piacenza's area, but the city resisted the Punicforces. In the following years the city's territory was drained and a port was constructed onto the Po River. Placentia flourished as a production centre for grain, barley, millet, and wool. Although sacked and devastated several times, the city always recovered and as late as the 6th century Procopiuscalled it "Urbs Aemilia Princeps", namely the "Princess of the cities across the Via Aemilia", meaning "first city across the Via Aemilia".
The era of
Late Antiquityin Piacenza (c. 300-700/800 AD) was marked by the expansion of Christianity, with the presence of several martyrs. The current patron saint, Antoninus, was a former legionnaire who Christianized the area and was killed during the reign of Diocletian.
Piacenza was sacked during the course of the Gothic Wars (535–552). After a short period as a
Byzantine Empirecity, it was conquered by the Lombards, who made it a duchy seat. After the Frank conquest (9th century) the city began to recover, aided by its location along the Via Francigenathat connected the Holy Roman Empirewith Rome. Its population and importance grew further after the year 1000. That period marked a gradual transfer of governing powers from the feudal lords to a new enterprising class, as well to the feudal class of the countryside.
In 1095 the city was the site of the
Council of Piacenza, in which the First Crusadewas proclaimed. From 1126 Piacenza was a free commune and an important member of the Lombard League. In this role it took part in the war against the emperor Frederick Barbarossaand in the subsequent battle of Legnano(1176). It also successfully fought the neighbouring communes of Cremona, Paviaand Parma, expanding its possessions. Piacenza also captured control of the trading routes with Genoa, where the first Piacentini bankers had already settled, from the Malaspina counts and the bishop of Bobbio.
In the 13th century, despite unsuccessful wars against emperor Frederick II, Piacenza managed to gain strongholds on the
Lombardyshore of the Po River. The primilaries of the Peace of Constancewere signed in 1183 in the Saint Antoninus church. Agriculture and trade flourished in these centuries, and Piacenza became one of the richest cities in Europe. This is reflected in the construction of many important buildings and in the general revision of the urban plan. Struggles for control were commonplace in the second half of the 13th century, not unlike the large majority of Medieval Italian communes. The Scotti family, Pallavicinofamily and Alberto Scoto(1290-1313) held power in that order during the period. Scoto's government ended when the Viscontiof Milancaptured Piacenza, which they would hold until 1447. Duke Gian Galeazzo rewrote Piacenza's statutes and relocated the University of Paviato the city. Piacenza then became a Sforzapossession until 1499.
A coin from the 16th century shows the motto: "Placentia floret" ("Piacenza flourishes"). The city was in fact developing further, mainly thanks to the produce from its countryside. Also in the course of that century a new wall line was erected. Piacenza was under
Franceuntil 1521, and later, with Leo X, became briefly part of the Papal States. In 1545, finally, it was included in the new-born Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, led by the Farnesefamily.
Piacenza was the capital city of the duchy until Ottavio Farnese (1547-1586) moved it to Parma. The city lived its most grievous years under duke Odoardo (1622-1646): 6,000 and 13,000 Piacentini out of 30,000 died of famine and plague, respectively. The city and its countryside were also ravaged by bandits and French soldiers.
From 1732 to 1859 Parma and Piacenza were ruled by
House of Bourbon. In the 18th century, ducal family living in Parma, several edifices which belonged to noble families such as Scotti, Landi and Fogliani were built in Piacenza.
In 1802, Napoleon's army annexed Piacenza to the French Empire. The young Piacentini recruits were sent to fight in Russia,
Spainand Germany, while the city was spoiled of a great number of artworks which are currently exhibited in many French museums.
Habsburggovernment of Maria Luisa 1816-1847 is remembered as one of the best ever seen in Piacenza; the duchess drained many lands, built several bridges across the Trebbiariver and the Nurestream, and created educational and artistic activities.
Duchy of Parma and Piacenza"
Union with Italy
Austrian and Croatian milices occupied Piacenza until, in 1848, a plebiscite marked the entrance of the city in the Kingdom of Sardinia. 37,089 voters out of 37,585 voted for the annexation. Piacenza was therefore declared "Primogenita dell'Unità di Italia" ("First-born of Unification of Italy") by the monarch. The Piacentini enrolled in mass in the Giuseppe Garibaldi's army in the Expedition of the Thousand.
On June 1865 the first railway bridge for northern Italy was inaugurated (in southern Italy a railroad bridge had already been built in 1839). In 1891 the first Chamber of Workers was created in Piacenza.
World War IIthe city was heavily bombed by the Allies. The important railway bridge across the Po River, the railway station, as well as the historical centre, were destroyed. On the hills and the Appeninemountains, partisan bands were active. On the end of April,25 1945 a General partisan insurrection by the Italian resistance movement burnst and on 29 arrived at the city troops of Brazilian Expeditionary Force . In 1996 president Oscar Luigi Scalfarohonoured Piacenza with the Gold Medal for Valour in Battle.
Piacenza is one of the most renowned cities in Italy for the arts. It boasts a great number of historical palaces, often characterized by splendid gardens.
*" Palazzo Comunale", also known as il Gotico, was built in 1281 as the seat of the government of the town. It is one of the best preserved examples of the kind of Medieval civic building in northern Italy known as the "
Broletto", and is typical of nearby Lombardy. Of the original design, only the northern side was completed, with its typical Guelph merlons, the arcaded frame, the central bell tower with two lesser ones at the sides. The façade, with five arcades, is in pink marble in the lower part and in brickwork(decorated with geometrical figures) in the upper part. A rose window overlooks the short side, which has three arcades. The main hall has frescoes, and is used for meetings, lectures and conferences.
* "Palazzo Farnese", begun in 1568 by Ottavio Farnese and his wife, Margaret of Austria. The initial project was devised by Francesco Paciotto, from
Urbino, and works were entrusted to Giovanni Bernardo Della Valle, Giovanni Lavezzari and Bernardo Panizzari (Caramosino). The design was modified in 1568 by Jacopo Barozzi, better known as Vignola.
*"Palazzo Landi", built in the Middle Ages but renovated in the late 15th century.
*"Palazzo Scotti", housing the Museum of Natural History.
*"Palazzo dei Mercanti" (17th century), the current Town Hall.
Other places of interest
* "Piazza Cavalli" is the main square of the town. It is named ("Cavalli" means "horses") for the two bronze equestrian monuments of Alessandro Farnese (Duke of Parma and Piacenza from 1586, nephew and valiant general of
Philip II of Spain) and his son Ranuccio, who succeeded him to the dukedom. The statues are masterpieces of Francesco Mochi, a Mannerist sculptor.
* The "
Duomo di Piacenza" is the Catholic cathedral of the diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio. It was built from 1122 to 1233 and is one of the most valuable examples of a Romanesque cathedral in northern Italy. The façade, in Veronese pink marble and gilted stone, is horizontally parted by a gallery that dominates the three gates, decorated with capitals and Romanic statues. The interior has a nave and two aisles, divided by 25 large pillars. It has noteworthy frescoes, made in the 14th-16th centuries by Camillo Procacciniand Ludovico Carracci, while those of the dome are by Morazzone and Guercino. The presbytery as a wooden sculpture from 1479, a wodden choir by Giangiacomo da Genova (1471) and statues of Lombard school from the 15th century. The crypt, on the Greek cross plan, has 108 Romanesque small columns and is home to the relics of Saint Justine, to which the first cathedral (crumbled down in 1117 after an earthquake) was dedicated.
*The church of St. Francis, in Piazza Cavalli, is a 12th century Romanesque/Gothic edifice which, thanks to its central position, assumed the role of civic Sanctuary in the Middle Ages. Part of the ancient cloisters remains. The main gate is enriched by a big lunette of the 15th century representing the "Ecstasy of St. Francis". The interior, with nave and two aisles divided by low and strong brick pillars that support high gothic arches, has a Latin Cross scheme. The nave, higher than the aisles, has a pentahedric apse in which the aisle apses meet; decorations include 15th-16th centuries frescoes. In the church was proclaimed the annexion of Piacenza to the
Kingdom of Sardiniain 1848.
*The basilica of "Sant'Antonino" is an example of Romanesque architecture, characterized by a large octagonal tower. It was commissioned by St. Victor, first bihsop of the city, in 350 CE, and completed in 375. It contains the relics of the eponymous saint, martyrized near
Travo, in the Val Trebbia. In 1183 the delegates of Frederick Barbarossa and of the Lombard League met here for the premilimaries of peace of Constance. The church was renovated after damage cretaed by the barbarian invasion, and has a 15th century cloister. In the interior, the main artworks are the frescoes by Camillo Gervasetti(1622).
*The basilica of "San Savino", dedicated to St. Victor's successor, was begun in 903 but consecrated only in 1107. The façade and the portico are from the 17th-18th centuries. The presbytery and the crypts contain 12th century polychrome mosaics. The interior is in Lombard-Gothic style, with anthropomorphic capitals of the columns. Over the high altar is a 12th century wooden crucifix by an unknown artist.
*"San Giovanni in Canale" was founded by the Dominicans in 1220, and enlarged in the mid-16th century.
*"Santa Maria in Campagna", a Renaissance church, faces Piazzale delle Crociate ("Crusades Square"), so called because
Pope Urban IIsummoned the First Crusade here in 1095. The church was built in 1522–1528 to house a miraculous wooden sculpture of the Madonna. The interior was originally on the Greek cross plan, but was later turned into a Latin cross one. Il Pordenonefinished fine frescoes in the dome and in two chapels on the left side.
*St. Sixtus is a Renaissance church with a precious choir, designed by
Alessio Tramello. It was begun in the 15th century over a temple edificated in 874 by Empress Angilberga. Also by Tramello is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
* The most famous relic of the region's pre-Roman civilization is the Bronze
Liver of Piacenza, an Etruscan bronze model of a sheep's liver dating from the end of the second century to the beginning of the first century BCE. It was discovered in 1877 in Ciavernasco di Settima, near Gossolengo, near Piacenza, and is housed in Piacenza's Archaeological Museum, part of the Musei Civici di Palazzo Farnese. Containing writing on its surface delineating the various parts of the liver and their significance, it was likely used as an educational tool for students studying haruspicy, or divination.
* Ricci Oddi Gallery is an art-gallery dedicated to modern Italian painters.
Many inhabitants of Piacenza and the surrounding province still use the Piacentine (or Piacentino) dialect, which is quite different from standard (Florentine) Italian as it is a variety of
Emiliano-Romagnolominority language. The different grammar rules and the dissimilar pronunciation of even similar words make it largely mutually unintelligible with standard Italian, with many regular vowels being replaced with umlauts or eliminated altogether. Although there have been a number of notable poets and writers using the Piacentine, it has experienced a steady decline during the 20th century due to the growing standardization of the Italian language in the national educational system.
List of Languages of Italy
Piacenza and its province are renowned for the production of seasoned and salted pork products. The main specialities are "
pancetta" (rolled seasoned pork belly, salted and spiced), "coppa" (seasoned pork neck, containing less fat than "pancetta", matured at least for six months) and "salame" (chopped pork meat flavoured with spices and wine, and made into sausages).
"Bortellina" (salted pancakes made with flour, salt, and water or milk) and "chisulén" ("torta fritta" in Standard Italian; made with flour, milk, and animal fats mixed together and then fried in hot "strutto", or clarified pork fat) are the perfect coupling of "pancetta", "coppa", and "salame", but they are also good with fat cheese , particularly
Gorgonzola cheeseand Robiola.
"Pisarei e fasö" is an exquisite mixture of handmade
Among the culinary specialties of the Piacenza region (although also enjoyed in nearby
Cremona) is "mostarda di frutta", consisting of preserved fruits in a sugary syrup strongly flavored with mustard. "Turtlìt" ("tortelli dolci" in standard Italian), or fruit dumplings, are filled with "mostarda di frutta", mashed chestnuts, and other ingredients, and are served at Easter. "Turtlìt" are also popular in the Ferraraarea. "Turtéi", a similarly named Piacentine specialty, is a kind of pasta filled with ricottacheese.
Piacentine staple foods include corn (generally cooked as
polenta) and rice (usually cooked as risotto), both of which are very common across northern Italy. Pasta is also eaten, though it is not as popular as in southern Italy. There are also locally produced cheeses, such as Grana Padano, though nearby Parmais more famous for its dairy products.
The hills surrounding Piacenza are well known for their vineyards. The wine produced in this area is qualified with a D.o.c. (Denominazione di origine controllata) called "
Colli piacentini" ("Hills of Piacenza"). Main wines are Gutturnio(red wine, both sparkilng or still), Bonarda(a red wine, often sparkling and foamy, made from Croatinagrapes), Ortrugo(a dry white wine), and Malvasia(a sweet white wine).
Gerard of Potenza(died 1119), born into the prominent and noble La Porta family of Piacenza, was Bishop of Potenzafrom 1111 until his death.
Tebaldo Visconti(c. 1210–1276) became Pope Gregory X.
Conrad of Piacenza(1290–1351), a medieval Franciscan hermit
Giovanni Battista Guadagnini(1711–1786) is the most famous member of the Guadagninifamily of luthiers who were among the most renowned residents of eighteenth-century Piacenza. He is considered to have been one of the greatest violin makers in history.
Melchiorre Gioja(1767–1829), writer on philosophy and political economy, was born at Piacenza.
Pietro Giordani(1774–1848), writer and classical literary scholar.
Giuseppe Merosi(1872–1956), a famous Italian automobile engineer.
* The Italian American chef Hector Boiardi (1897-1985), better known as "Chef Boyardee," was born in Piacenza and emigrated to the
United Statesin 1915, eventually acquiring fame for his eponymous franchise of food products.
Giorgio Armani(born 1934) is an Italian fashion designer, particularly noted for his menswear. He has been acclaimed as the most successful designer to come out of Italy.
Edoardo Amaldi(1908-1989), italian physicist, professor of physics at University of Rome La Sapienza(1938-1979), co-founder of CERN, ESA, and the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics. Before WWII, he was part of the group of researchers led by the future Nobel Prize winner Enrico Fermi, known as the Via Panisperna boys.
Agostino Casaroli(1914- 1998),Italian Catholic priest and diplomat for the Holy See, who became Cardinal Secretary of State(1979-1990) . Casaroli is widely considered as the key personage in establishing solid diplomatic relations between the Vaticanand the Soviet Blocfrom the Cold War to the fall of the Wall.
* Filippo "Pippo" Inzaghi (born 1973) is a World Cup-winning footballer who currently plays for Italian
Serie Aclub AC Milan and for Italy. He is the all-time leading scorer in official UEFAcompetition with 63 goals.
Simone Inzaghi(born 1976) is a professional footballer who plays as a centre forwardfor the Serie Aclub Atalanta. Like his brother Pippo he has appeared for the Italian national football team.
Conrad of Piacenza
* [http://www.liberta.it liberta.it] Libertà (Italian word for freedom), the first local newspaper
* [http://www.cronaca.it/ cronaca.it] La Cronaca, another local newspaper
* [http://www.comune.piacenza.it Comune di Piacenza] it icon
* [http://bettolapc.interfree.it/dialetto/dialetto.html Piacentine dialect page from Bettola site]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Piacenza — • Diocese in central Italy Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Piacenza Piacenza † C … Catholic encyclopedia
Piacenza — Piacenza … Deutsch Wikipedia
Piacenza — [pia tʃɛntsa], 1) Hauptstadt der Provinz Piacenza, in der Emilia Romagna, Italien, 61 m über dem Meeresspiegel nahe dem rechten Ufer des mittleren Po, 101 100 Einwohner; Bischofssitz; Kunstakademie, Fachschulen, Museen … Universal-Lexikon
PIACENZA — PIACENZA, city in northern Italy, formerly in the duchy of parma . Jewish moneylenders lived there in the 15th century and were attacked by the friars who condemned usury in their sermons. When monti di pietà were established here and in Parma in … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Piacenza  — Piacenza, Hauptstadt der gleichnamigen ital. Provinz (s. oben) und wichtige Festung, 61 m ü. M., nahe am rechten Ufer des Po, unterhalb der Mündung der Trebbia, an den Eisenbahnen Parma Alessandria, Mailand Rom und den Dampfstraßenbahnen P.… … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Piacenza  — Piacenza (spr. Piatschennsa), 1) ehemaliges Herzogthum in Oberitalien, vom Po u. den Apenninen begrenzt, reich an italienischen Producten, war mit Parma (s.d.) vereinigt u. bildete einen District von 31 Gemeinden mit 29,36 QM. u. (1857) 141,778… … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Piacenza  — Piacenza (spr. Platschenusa), 1) Herzog von P., s. Lebrun 4) u. 8). 2) Fürst von P., seit 1851 Titel des Erbprinzen Robert von Parma (1854–1859 Herzog) … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Piacenza  — Piacenza (spr. pjatschénza), ital. Provinz mit gleichnamiger Hauptstadt in der Emilia, wird von den Provinzen Cremona, Mailand, Pavia, Genua und Parma begrenzt, umfaßt 2471 qkm (44,9 QM.) mit (1901) 245,126 Einw. (99 auf 1 qkm) und zerfällt in… … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Piacenza  — Piacenza, Herzog von, s. Lebrun 3) … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Piacenza — (spr. pĭatschén ), das alte Placentia, befestigte Hauptstadt der oberital. Prov. P. (2471 qkm, 1905: 249.168 E.; Emilia), am Po, (1901) 36.064 E., lombard. roman. Dom (13. Jahrh.), Piazza de Cavalli (Reiterstandbilder der Herzöge Alessandro und… … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
Piacenza  — Piacenza (spr. pĭatschén ), Herzog von, s. Lebrun, Charles François … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon