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Via Francigena in Piacenza

Piacenza

Via Francigena, or Romea, is the pilgrimage road leading from Canterbury to Rome and constituting one of the most important Eauropean arteries in themedieval period. According to history, il was started by Sigerico, Archbishop of Canterbury, when he first went ti Rome ti visit Pope Ioannes 15 th. For those who started their pilgrimage Piacenza was a rest place where to find assistance and refreshment. Here is ana itinerary in Piacenza going across the places and roads that once used to be travelled by going to Rome.

- CALENDASCO SOPRARIVO: this memorial stone marks the passage in 990 of Canterbury’s Archbishop Sigeric, who crossed the river Po in Calendasco, in Soprarivo, on his way back from Rome, where he had been invested by the Pope. Today it is a small habour for pilgrims and tourist, and it has been know as Transit padi since 1994.

- PIAZZALE DELLE CROCIATE: here, near today’s hospital and Vittorio Emanuele old people’s home, Pope Urbano II gothere, in the spring of 1095, the council which originated the first crusade to the Holy Land. Thies square is the background of the beautiful S. Maria di Campagna basilica, one of the best example of Bramante-style architecture in Nothern Italy, which original architectural core was Medieval. In the chruc there is a beautiful wooden Madonna con il bambino from the 14th century. A few metres away there is S.Sepolcro church rebuilt over an early Medieval building.

- PIAZZA CAVALLI: Even if it is named after the two equestrian stautes by Francesco Mochi, masterpiece of Baroque art, the square was already in the 13 th century the historical and political pivotal point of the city. It held a central position against the main medieval road axis, along which the families belonging to mercantile aristocracy had built their mansions and established their business. In the background the square is dominated by palazzo Gotico built in 1281.

- BASILICA DI S.ANTONINO: founded as an ancient early Christian basilica in the 4th century, the current structure dates back to the 11 th century, with successive additions. It ha a reversed latin cross plan with al octagonal tower toward the façade. Inside tha are unique samples of 12th century painting in Piacenza portraying saints and prophets. Some of these frescoes were removed from the attic an now are visible on the side walls close by the northern entrance. The remains of St.Antonino, the city patron saint, are preserved under the main altar.

- DUOMO – CATTEDRALE DI PIACENZA: The cathedral a remarkable example of Italian Romanesque style from Emilia was built between 1122 and 1341. it has a three nave plan an ample transept and majestic central lantern tower. The most important a theatrical decoration is the one on the central dome, which represents the cycle of the prophets, initiated by Morazzone from 1525 and finished by Guercino.

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