PIACENZA. 12. Route. 85
Sirani. The ancient crypt is borne by 100 columns. In the
vicinity is S. Antonino, formerly the cathedral, dating from
903, 1104, and 1561, with a fine old vestibule termed 'II
S. Maria della Campagna (at the W. extremity of the town),
erected by Bramante, but disfigured by renovations, contains
some finely executed frescoes by Pordcnone.
*S. Sisto, at the N. end of the town, is the richest church
in Piacenza, for which, about 1518, Raphael painted his
master-piece, the Sistine Madonna (Madonna with St. Sixtus and
St. Barbara, now at Dresden). It was sold in 1753 to King
Augustus III. of Poland for 20,000 ducats and replaced by a copy
by Nogari. The church contains pictures by Camillo Procaccini,
Palma Giovine, etc. ; also the monument of Margaret of Austria,
daughter of Charles V. and wife of Oltavio Farnese, Duke of
Parma, father of Alessandro Farnese.
To the N. of the town is the Palazzo Farnese, erected in a
magnificent style by Vigiiola (1507 to 1573), during the reign
of Margaret, one of his first great works. It was never com¬
pleted and is now a barrack. On the S. W. side of the town is
the Citadel, erected in 1547, and strongly fortified by the
Austrians in 1848.
About 24 M. to the 8. W. in the valley of the Trebbia, is situated the
small town of Bobbio, celebrated for the Library of the monastery founded
here by St. Columbanus in 712, which on the dissolution of the abbey was
dispersed to Rome, Paris, Turin, etc. This library contained the palimp¬
sests from which the erudite Angelo Mai (born at Bergamo in 1782, librarian
of the Vatican in 1819, cardinal in 1833, d. at Albano near Rome in 1854)
brought to light so many valuable ancient works, among others 'Cicero de
Republica' in 1822.
The remains of the ancient town of -'Velleia, which is believed to have
been buried by a landslip under the Emp. ProbuS (about 278), is also 24 M.
distant from Piacenza. A great number of antiquities excavated here in
1760—75 are now preserved in the museum at Parma. An amphitheatre,
temple, forum, etc. have also been discovered. The route to Velleia is by
S. Polo; S. Giorgio, on the Nitre, with a villa of the Scotti erected by Vig-
nola; Rezzano, and Badagnano (where the carriage-road terminates).
13. From Turin to Genoa.
Railway in i'lt—b^U hrs. (Alessandria is about half-way); fares 18 fr.
30, 12 fr. 80, 9 fr. 15 c.
The line at first proceeds S. , at some distance from the 1.
bank of the Po, which here skirts the base of the extreme
spurs of the Apennines rising on its r. bank. Near stat. Monca-
lieri, where the line turns to the E. , the river is crossed by a
bridge of 7 arches, each with a span of 50 ft. On an eminence
above Moncalieri, which is picturesquely situated on a range
of hills, rises the handsome royal chateau, where Victor Emma¬
nuel I. died in 1823. A final retrospect is now obtained of the hills
of Turin; to the 1. the conspicuous snowy summits of the Alps
(p. 80). At stat, Trufarello the line to Cuneo (p. 108) diverges