A N Province Of Italy, bordering on Pavia, Milan, Cremona, Parma, and Genoa; area, 965 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 225,-775. The S. part is mountainous; the N, part belongs to the plain of the Po, which river bounds it on the north. Wheat, maize, hay, chestnuts, wine, and excellent Parmesan cheese are produced in abundance. Among the minerals are iron, copper, and marble. The province formerly constituted the duchy of Piacen-za, and was united with Parma. It is divided into the districts of Piacenza and Fiorenzuola.
A City (Anc. Placentia), capital of the province, on the right bank of the Po, 37 m. S. E. of Milan; pop. in 1872, 34,985. It has many churches and palaces, and is laid out in magnificent distances. It derives great strategical importance from its strong fortress. The original cathedral of che 4th century, repeatedly rebuilt, is now the church of Sant' Antonino, and the present catbtedral dates from the 12th century. The churches Santa Maria, della Campagna, and others, were built after designs by Bramante; that of San Sisto once contained Kaphael's celebrated Madonna of that name. One of the old churches is now used as a theatre, the Farnese palace as a barrack, and the Landi palace for courts of law. The Mandelli palace was long a ducal residence. Among the schools are a technical institute, a lyceum, a gymnasium, and the Gazzoli institute for instruction in drawing and for the gratuitous tuition of poor girls. The public library contains about 40,000 volumes. The principal manufactories are woollen and silk goods. About 8 m.
S. of Piacenza is Velleia, called the Pompeii of northern Italy, a' city which was overwhelmed by a land slide probably in the reign of Probus (A. D. 276-282), and was discovered in 1760. - Placentia became a Eo-man colony in 219 B. C, and the battle of the Trebia between Hannibal and Sempronius was fought here in the following year. Subsequently it withstood a protracted siege by Hasdrubal, but in 200 was captured by the Gauls. The AEmilian way originally terminated at Placentia. In the war between Marius and Sulla, M. Lucullus, the general of the latter, defeated the partisans of Oarbo in 82 B. O. in its vicinity. Under the empire Placentia was a flourishing town of Gallia Cispadana. In 1126 it became an independent republic. In the 13th century it was subject to local dynasties, and subsequently to the Visconti of Milan, against whom it unsuccessfully revolted in 1447. The popes gained possession of Piacenza in 1512, after the battle of Eavenna, and through Paul III. it passed into the hands of his natural son Pietro Luigi Farnese along with Parma, of which it formed a part (see Paema) till 1860, when both duchies were annexed to Victor Emanuel's dominions.