Located at Emilia Romagna’s Western border, Piacenza has always been a transit town, a trait d’union between the river Po, the wide Padana Valley and the Apennine.
Founded in 218 B.C. by 6.000 Roman veterans and given the good omen name of “Placentia”, it was born as frontier colony, military outpost located just before Cisalpine Gaul.
The Via Emilia and the river Po, pilgrims and its strategic position affected so much its development and richness throughout time that it was called” hundred churches and hundred barracks town”.
With its rich history and its many historical remains, it offers several suggestive tracks to follow, notwithstanding the bombardments on the city during the Second World War.
Today Piacenza may be considered as important tertiary and automation industry pole.
Via Francigena in Piacenza and province
The Pilgrims who followed the Via Romea from Pavia stopped at the ancient church or Pieve of Olubra, round which the town of Castel San Giovanni has developed.
The importance of this area is due to the fact that important roads crossed here: the Via Romea, the Via Postumia and the road leading up the Tidone Valley.Traffic of both men and goods was heavy.
As a result there were four hospitals here in the 13th century: the hospital of Costola, that of San Giacomo (St. James) of Bardoneggia, the hospital of the Battuti, and that connected to the Pieve. Beyond Piacenza, the Via Francigena coincides with the Via Emilia for several kilometers from this point and passes through Pontenure, Cadeo, Fontanafredda, Fiorenzuola d’Arda, Castell’arquato, Lugagnano, Velleia, Vernasca, Castelletto e Morfasso.
Courtesy of Piacenza Tourist Office