84 Route l->. PIACENZA.
delled in 1600. This town was frequently mentioned in the war
On the high road from Voghera to the next station Casteggio,
to the S. of the railway, is situated Montebello, where the well
known battle of June 9th, 1800 (five days before the battle of
Marengo), took place, and whence Marshal Lannes obtained his
ducal title. Here, too, on May 20th, 1859, the first sanguinary
encounter took place between the Austrians and the united French
and Sardinian armies. Casteggio, a village on the Coppa, is be¬
lieved to be identical with the Clastidium so frequently men¬
tioned in the annals of the wars of the Romans against the Gauls.
Hence by Pavia (and the Certosa) to Milan see R. 27.
The train skirts the base of the N. spurs of the Apennines,
on which several unimportant places are situated, and at stat.
Arena-Po enters the plain of the Po, in which it proceeds, at some
distance from the river, till it reaches Piacenza. Stat. Castel S.
Giovanni is situated in the former Duchy of Parma. S. Niccolb,
the last station before Piacenza, lies in the plain of the Trebia,
memorable for the victory gained by Hannibal, B. C. 218, over
the Romans, whom he had already defeated near Somma (p. 141)
a short time previously.
Piacenza, French Plaisance ("S. Marco, R. l'|2, D. 3 fr..; Italia;
"Croce Bian ca; Caffe Battaglia in the Piazza; Caffe Grande in
the Str. di S. Raimondo, S. of the Piazza), situated near the S. bank
of the Po, which is here crossed by a bridge of boats (iron
bridge in course of construction), is a large and dreary town
with 39,318 inhab. It was founded by the Romans, B. C. 219,
as Colonia Placentia, at the same time with Cremona. In the
middle ages the town was frequently the subject of fierce party-
struggles between the Scotti, Torriani and Visconti. In 1488 it
was plundered by Francesco Sforza, a blow from which it never
entirely recovered. In 1545 it finally came into the possession
of the Farnese family and was united to Parma. In the Piazza
de' Cavalli is situated the *Palazzo del Comune, erected in 1281,
in a combined Gothic and Romanesque style, with handsome
colonnade. In front of it stand the equestrian Statues of the
Dukes Alessandro and Ranuccio Farnese, erected 1620—24 and
executed by Francesco Mocchi, a pupil of Giovanni da Bologna.
Alessandro attained to great distinction in the wars in the
Netherlands as governor under Philip II. He took Antwerp in
1585, besieged Paris in 1591, and died at Arras in 1592. He
was succeeded by his tyrannical son Ranuccio (d. 1622).
S. Francesco, situated in the Piazza, with Gothic interior,
was erected in 1278. The principal street to the E. leads to
the *Cathedral, dating from 1132, a Romanesque-Lombard edifice
adorned with admirable frescoes by Guercino (prophets and
sibyls) and Lodovico Caracci, and pictures by Procaccini and E.