Piacenza lacked the glamour of Aosta, but it made up for it in warmth, both human and climate. Warmer temperature, people were friendlier, the centre of the city seemed more contained and walkable, and the accommodation – B & B Domus San Martino – was amazing. The latter is highly-recommended for anyone visiting the city, by the way. Outstanding location – they have two, ask for the one off Via XX Settembre, good breakfast and very nice welcome.
Italy, like the rest of Europe, has something North America lacks (or has obliterated): thousands of years of human occupation. It’s nearly impossible to stroll through the streets of Piacenza and not stop, every few minutes, to admire some detail, either large or small.
And the variety of materials used for their art is incredible. How is it possible to not be awed by it?
Churches, both big and small dot every neighborhood/area of the city. They’re still there, in part, because they’ve been maintained and protected.
Do North Americans value history less than Europeans? If so, why?
In Northern Italy, everyone had gated yards. At first, I couldn’t this obsession with gates and fences. But in Roppolo, when we sat outside and ate supper in the fenced yard, I understood that their climate allows them to eat and relax outside most of the year.
Since descending into Italy from the St Bernard Pass, I’d resorted to eating wheat flour. It was way too difficult to find food without it in the land of bread and pasta.
The above meal was from Food Love, located on Via Calciati, 4, a wonderful vegetarian restaurant a bit out of the way, but worth the walk. Their coffee alone was worth the distance.
I only know a few words in Italian, and I tried to read the menu in this tiny establishment run by a lovely young man from Pakistan. But our communication failed miserably. I was hoping for a Napoli pizza. I was thinking olives, vegetables, etc. Instead I got one with fries and hot dogs. Yes, I was starving, but it have to admit it was actually quite good.
Next post: Piacenza to Fiorenzuola d’Arda