We arrive in Piacenza starting from the point where the Via Francigena leaves Lombardy and crosses the border with Emilia-Romagna. The Ford of Sigerico is the only river crossing of the entire Via Francigena from the United Kingdom to Rome and can be tackled thanks to the municipal river taxi service for the transport of pilgrims, available by telephone reservation from 16 to 17 every day.
A walk of almost 3 hours awaits you to get to Piacenza, along the provincial roads and crossing the Trebbia river that runs along a part of the city. Stroll through the city between Piazzale delle Crociate and Piazza dei Cavalli with the two imposing bronze equestrian statues dating back to 1620.
Exit from the city center of Piacenza, because it is time to take the Via Emilia to Pontenure. From here, continue south, leaving behind the main road in the direction of Castello di Paderna.
It is a fortification of medieval origin that seems to have stopped a few centuries ago. The Castle is worth a visit, either from the outside or taking advantage of guided tours during summer weekends.
Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba
From Paderna Castle, it is time to travel about 20 kilometers in the direction of Fiorenzuola d 'Arda. At the gates of the city center stands the Cistercian Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba, famous throughout the world for the traditional Infiorata del Corpus Domini that takes place every year between May and June.
Depending on the availability of the structure, you can book a stay inside the Abbey so you can spend the night in this place full of history before returning to travel the next day.
Fidenza awaits you 13 kilometers from the Abbey, descending to the south and along State Road 9. You will arrive in this delightful city of art from the north and you can explore it in a few hours.
A few steps from each other you will admire the Cathedral of Fidenza, a masterpiece of Romanesque-Padian architecture and symbol of the city, the Church of San Michele and the Luigi Musini Risorgimento Museum. We also suggest a visit to the Teatro Magnani, one of the places of the Terre Verdiane.
Fornovo di Taro
The next day we headed south again. The destination of this fifth stage is Fornovo di Taro, about 30 kilometers away. Along the way there are interesting stops, such as Cabriolo where you can visit the beautiful Romanesque church Pieve di Cabriolo, dedicated to San Tommaso Becket, the Rocca di Noceto and the small village of Felegara.
At this point you will have to cross the river Taro to find yourself in Fornovo, at the beginning of the great Taro Regional River Park that extends north to the gates of Parma. Stop to discover the 8th century Romanesque parish church of Santa Maria Assunta and find accommodation for the night.
On the last day of the journey you will face 35 kilometers to reach, as the last destination, the Passo della Cisa. The first stop from Fornovo di Taro is the small town of Respiccio where you can still see the remains of the ancient xenodochio that during the Middle Ages hosted pilgrims and foreigners.
The climb to today's destination begins. First, continuing along the Via Francigena, you will meet Bardone with his Romanesque parish church of Terenzo and, shortly after, the small village of Cassio, an excellent place to refresh and stop for the night.
Passo della Cisa
We are almost there, one last effort and you will arrive in Berceto following the Strada Statale della Cisa. Berceto is located at 852 meters above sea level and is dominated by the Cathedral of San Modarán which houses the relics of the saint and the remains of the ancient castle. We suggest you try one of the many dishes based on PGI Porcini Mushroom before heading back to the Passo della Cisa, 8 kilometers away.
Once you arrive at your destination, we recommend you visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Guard, the last point of the Via Francigena in Emilia-Romagna.