Piacenza Food Valley
PIACENZA AND ITS HISTORY
Piacenza’s territory is a paradise of art, culture, literature and ancient traditions.
Founded in 218 BC by Roman veterans, by the well-omened name of “Placentia” (“pleasant town”), it was an important Cisalpine colony nearby the Po River and surrounded by four enchanting valleys.
Since then the city has expanded across the centuries leaving precious traces of its glorious past: palaces, churches, monuments, castles and gardens. Palazzo Farnese, second residence of a noble Roman family of Princes and Popes, today gathers many important permanent exhibits with treasures such as Botticelli’s works and the famous Etruscan Liver.
A few metres from there, there is still the heart of Medieval times represented by the Gothic Palace, ancient seat of municipal power, which is still the hub of many cultural activities in town. Right in front of it, there are two symbols of Piacenza Renaissance: the bronze horsemen representing Ranuccio e Ottavio Farnese by the Tuscan sculptor Francesco Mochi.
There are also other Medieval monuments in the nearby area: the Cathedral and the churches of Saint Antonino, Saint Francis and Saint Savino, which are custodians of masterpieces of several kinds and times, surrounded by an overwhelming sacrality.
Getting directly to the 20th century, Ricci Oddi Gallery of Modern Art is certainly worth a visit: it keeps an admirable record of Italian art from 1850-1930 and has been donated to the citizens of Piacenza by the rich Piacentine collector Giuseppe Ricci Oddi.
But the most pleasant way to enjoy the beauty of this city is wandering among its gardens and streets and then having a break in one of its little restaurants, where the typical dishes give a perfect idea of the precious agricultural heritage of Piacenza valleys.
From the green hills of the Appenine area to the calm shores of Po River, the Province of Piacenza is an incredible mix of landscapes, also for agriculture and farming.
Princes and kings across the centuries have always loved these valleys and left a trace of their presence building wonderful castles. Val d’Arda, Val Nure, Val Trebbia and Val Tidone, 4 valleys with different features and traditions which are reflected also in their culinary experience..
A unique heritage protected and promoted by many companies, whose fundamental aim is a constant pursuit of quality, able to represent the best Piacentine tradition in Italy and abroad.
Piacenza has a very rich cuisine pleasantly mixing ancient agricultural knowledge and the most sophisticated tastes of aristocracy and clergy.
Its unique character also stems from its particolar geographic position, crossing the borders of Lombardy, Liguria and Piedmont.
A mix of cultures and traditions that generated an extremely varied food&beverage heritage; for this reason, the Province of Piacenza is the only one in the EU to have three PDO “salumi”:
- PDO Coppa Piacentina
- PDO Pancetta Piacentina
- PDO Salame Piacentino
In addition to this, consumers can also appreciate one of the 21 CDO wines Colli Piacentini, such as Gutturnio, l’Ortrugo, Vin Santo di Vigoleno and Monterosso.