Oct 17, 2010
Piacenza is a lovely Italian city situated in northern Italy. Nothing describes it better than it's own name, possibly originating from the Latin verb, "placere" which means "to please".

The town is rather small, with only about 100,000 residents, but it's worth visiting for it's wonderful architecture, interesting museums and art collections and, if you speak a little Italian, for the very nice people who live here.

As far as Piacenza's main sights go, there are a few that are quite important. First of all, the Palazzo Gotico is one of Piacenza's symbols. It lies in the centre or the town, called Piazza Cavalli, which is well known for the two large equestrian statues, sculpted in detail, masterpieces of sculptor Francesco Mochi.

Palazzo Farnese is another important building the city can take pride in. It houses a series of museums and exhibitions. Among them, you can visit a great collection of frescoes, glass works and sculptures, the museum of weapons or you could admire the great artwork of Sandro Botticelli, "Madonna with the Young St. John" at the gallery.

If you're interested in admiring great architecture, you have a lot of churches you can visit and be amazed. Some residents of Piacenza are sure that the town and its surroundings have more than 100 churches you can visit.

Piacenza also has some great art galleries. Ricci Oddi is the main art gallery that makes the town so famous. This is the place to visit if you're into modern art. Famous modern Italian painters have their works here. You can also check out the Collegio Alberoni and look at an interesting art gallery here, or you can visit a church treasure in the Colombano Museum, just a few miles outside of Piacenza.

Since we're talking about the town's surroundings, another great tourist attraction is the Castell'Arquato. It's a small town where you can visit the remains of a medieval castle. The castle was built up a hill and is just magnificent. Once you get up there, you'll be amazed by the astonishing view.

Last, but not least, the local cuisine is something you don't want to miss out on. Piacenza is actually a lead producer of D.O.P and D.O.C. cheeses, wines and meat in Italy.

Among the many specialties, the "coppa", "pancetta" and "salame" are maybe the most famous. Then you have to have a taste of the "pisarei e faso". You might think that pasta and beans don't go well together but the piacentini (the people who live in Piacenza) have found a way to make an exquisite dish out of the two. The "mostarda" is another example of how inventive the people here are in the kitchen: a mixture of preserved fruits in a syrup flavored with mustard. You might think it's weird but it's actually very good.

You can't leave Piacenza without having a taste of their wine. The Gutturnio, Bonarda and Malvasia are only three of the famous wines produced in this area.

As you can see, it's possible for small town to have a lot to offer. From history and art, to food and wine, Piacenza is a very interesting place to visit.