Il Gotico (the gothic one) is the name that most people use when they talk of the Palazzo Comunale. This medieval palace was built in 1281 and it had to be much larger, but its construction was interrupted by a pestilence, so only part of the original project was completed. The lower part is of pink marble, while the upper part is of red terra-cotta.
Inside there is a large room that in medieval time was used for assemblies, and now is used for exhibitions or lectures.
The exterior of this palace is in the picture of the introduction page.
Piacenza football club was formed as early as 1919, but it’s just the last 10-15 years that the club has been playing in a higher level. 1992/93 they went up to the Serie A for the first time, only to be relegated immediately back to Serie B, “thanks” to a 0-0 draw in the last game against rivals Parma. They went back to A the year after though. After four seasons in A, always in the bottom of the table, they went back to Serie B 02/03 after have been stuck there since then. The club has always been working with a limited economic budget, that explains the few moments of success for the piacentini.
Piacenza is playing their homegames at Stadio Leonardo Garilli, named after their famous ex-president. Garilli bought the club in 1983, then in the 4th division, and promised to take the club into Serie A. Nine years later his promised was made true.
Leonardo went away in 1996, and the club is now run by his sons.
The stadium have a capacity of 21 668, very rarely sold out. Specially now when they are playing the second division.
The home supporters stands in the Curva Nord, while the away-supporters have the Curva Sud all for themselves.
A problem for a visitor from other places is that the stadium is quite fare away from the train station. First time I was there it took me about 3 hours to finally find a bus to get back with… The second time I went there by car, and the third time I was lucky to find a bus directly outside the stadium. Even if I’m not sure I shall call it lucky, since the bus was without window (just fences instead) and it was in december… Quite cold, I would say…
Being one of the smaller clubs it’s not that strange that Piacenza also have a very small supporter-base. The ultras stands in one of the sectors in the curva nord, with “Vecchia Guardia”, “Viking”, “Official supporters and “Sparuta presenza” the most famous. But Piacenza-supporters are ranked really low in Italy.
They don’t have any real enemies, but for some reason they have some kind of friendship with the Juventus-ultras.
The atmosphere at Stadio Leonardo Garilli isn’t at it’s top, unless there is an away-team that has brought many supporters with them, but Piacenza has made some good choreographies in the past, being a small club with few supporters.
Well, I can’t really say there are any Piacenza-games that you really HAVE to see… But a derby against Parma should be nice, as homegames against big clubs as Milan, Inter and Juventus. Since they now are playing in Serie B maybe the game against Modena will be a nice one.
The Cathedral of Piacenza (Il Duomo) is in the Romanesque style, like the ones of Parma, Modena and Ferrara, all built in the same period, between the 12th and 13th century.
Inside there are beautiful frescos that were added some centuries later. The ones inside the dome are from the 17th century and some of them are by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, a painter who is famous under the nickname “Guercino.
If you come to Piacenza don't...
If you come to Piacenza don't forget to visit these monuments:
- town hall
- Farnese Palace
- Episcopal Palace
- Equestrian statues
- Gothic Palace
You can also visit Ricci Oddi Gallery which is the most important art museum in Piacenza.
There are two beautiful routes:
- you can visit five important squares: Piazza Cavalli, Piazza Duomo, Piazza S.Antonino, Piazza Cittadella and Piazza Borgo
- you can visit Val Tidone with a lot of medieval castles.
The equestrian statues represent Ranuccio Farnese on the right. Ranuccio is drawn back in Roman customs and with the sceptre. On the left, there is his father Alessandro Farnese represented with an ample mantle and riding a horse.
Ricci Oddi Gallery.
Ricci-Oddi Gallery is in via S.Siro, on the right. In the Gallery there are more than 800 works, distributed in the 25 rooms, realised by numerous Italian and foreign artists working from the second half of the XIX century to the first half of the XX. There are also works of a lot of famous Italian and foreign painters. Ricci Oddi Gallery is considered one of the greatest of Italy in its kind.
The building raises on 3 floors with a basement. The main entrance is from Piazza Cittadella and through a drawbridge takes you into a vast courtyard. In the basement and on the first floor, there are Frisoni's decorations and frames and Ricci and Draghi's paintings. In the basement there is a museum with the most beautiful samples of carriages from the patrician families in Piacenza (the Museo delle Carrozze).
The Gothic Palace.
The Gothic Palace rises in the main square in Piacenza, Piazza Cavalli. The Gothic Palace introduces an original architectural structure: there are Gothic and Romanic elements. On the façade between the fourth and the fifth window there is a statue which represents Mary with the Baby (Maria con il Bambino) (XIII century). In the part of the Palace where there are great windows there is a vast hall that is now centre of exhibitions.
The Episcopal Palace has a 1500 beautiful courtyard and the Museo Capitolare where there are ancient codes and parchments.
The route departs from the most important square of Piacenza: Piazza Cavalli created in the XIII century and so called for the two equestrian statues that represent Alessandro and Ranuccio Farnese. On the square leans out the Gothic Palace, the Town hall, the Governor's Palace, and the Basilica of S. Francesco. Returning towards Piazza Cavalli and crossing Via XX Settembre, you come to the Cathedral square with the Cathedral and the Episcopal Palace. From the Cathedral square it’s possible to reach S. Antonino square. Leaving the square and going towards Via Giordani, it's possible to visit the Ricci Oddi Gallery. From Corso Vittorio Emanuele, direction Piazza Cavalli, and crossing the square, you can reach Piazza Cittadella, crossing the homonym street and the intersection with Via Borghetto. From the square you can see the Cittadella Farnese and the Farnese Palace, that coasts along Via Cavour.
Val Tidone opens to the West and it's of notable importance also for the castles. The Tidone river that flows into the Po near Calendasco crosses the territory. The castles of the mountain, of the hill and of the lowland of this zone are all of notable historical, artistic and political interest. The first village that we meet crossing the roads of this valley is Castelsangiovanni. In the Middle Ages it had suffered a lot of damages and it had been reconstructed various times. The castle rose in the North - West angle of the town walls and was surrounded by a surmountable ditch with two drawbridges.
The second village is Borgonovo where the castle is still well preserved. It was founded to defende the territory from the hostile raids. It was damaged and reconstructed more times and it passed in the hands of various noble families. The building has a rectangular plant with two towers. Currently in the building there are the town Offices and the magistrate's court.
Another castle of notable importance is that of Castelnuovo built in 1300 in a suitable position to dominate the ways of access to Val Tidone.
More than the seven...
More than the seven wonders...if you come to Piacenza you can see a lot of storical monuments and also medieval city like Grazzano Visconti or beautifull castel like that of Rivalta or Castelnuovo or Sarmato(where there is also a museum).If you prefer the natur conctact you can go to the Colli
Piacentini.You can see the fantastic hills that surround the province. Here you can taste good wine made with the vines of the place.
There are also beautiful parks, important from a geographic point of view. For example the park of Stirone where you can find a lot of animals and fossils of ancient animals.
In the summer there are a lot of popular feasts above all in the small countries:
-in Borgonovo Val Tidone there are the famous Angel's fiar at the week-end of Easter, in September there are the Focaccia's party;
-in Castel San Giovanni is common the S.Giovanni's fiar for celebrate the protector saint of the town, it took place at the 25 june,
-in Pianello there are the Feast of the Grey Chicken at the First of May and also the traditional Fiar of S.Maurice towards the end of September, for this festivity there are also fireworks;
-in Rivargaro there are the caracteristic Babele's cake. This are a strange party where you have a tikets with a number and you have to find the other person which ave the same your number. When you have foun it you can tast the cake that is in the center of the square.
You have to came at least one time in your life in Piacenza!!!