Exquisite Romanesque style in Lombardy
Among the most illustrious examples of Romanesque architecture in Lombardy, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta e Santa Giustina is the main place of worship in Piacenza. The building underwent three construction phases: the first between the late 11th and early 12th century, the second, 1120 and 1130, after the earthquake of 1117, and the third in the 13th century with Gothic elements such as the women's gallery triple lancet windows and the tiburium.
The gabled façade, in pink Verona marble and sandstone, is divided vertically by two half-columns, mirroring the division inside. Above the two smaller doorways are two arcades featuring nine small columns each. Above the central doorway, within a splayed frame, is a rose window with 24 small columns. The 72.5-metre-high brick bell tower rises on the façade’s left side.
Inside, medieval and Renaissance wall paintings adorn the transept, while the dome features depictions of the Prophets painted by Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, known as il Morazzone, in 1625. Camillo Procaccini and Ludovico Carracci were commissioned to decorate the presbytery and apse. Don’t miss the tiles of the “Paratici” (medieval guilds) on the columns, in tribute to the contribution of the Piacenza Arts and Crafts Guilds. The crypt houses the relics of the local patron saint.