Cristoforo Colombo. A Piacenza’s citizen discovering America
The origin of Cristoforo Colombo is cloudy. Despite the fact that Genova city has always claimed his origin, during the years it has been suggested that Colombo family came from Piacenza.
Probably his family came from Nure valley: even today in the little village of Pradello in Bettola a middle-age tower called “Torre dei Colombo” is still existing. This tower, dating back to the XIV Century, is referred as the house of the parents of Cristoforo. Currently it is hosting an interesting museum with a collection of memories of Colombo.
In 1439 his father Domenico left Pradello and moved t0 Genova. But it’s still not clear if Cristoforo was already born.
According to some proofs, Cristoforo died in 1506 when he was 70 years old. This means that Colombo was born in 1436, three years before the moving of his family.
He was certainly releated to Piacenza’s land.
According to Bartolomeo Las Casas, who met Cristoforo in person, we know for sure, that Cristoforo studied in Pavia. Actually at that time, the Pavia’s diocese included the middle and high Nure Valley, and the Atheneaum of Pavia was merged with the university of Piacenza.
In 1480 Cristoforo got married with Felipa Moniz Perestrello, descendent from Filippo Pallastrelli from Piacenza, who moved to Oporto in 1381 and he changed his surname to its Portuguese version Perestrello.
In 1892, after four Centuries from the Discovery of the Americas, Bettola celebrated this story with a memorial on the central square.
The epigraph says:
““Dica ai venturi
sorto per unanime plebiscito
che da Valnure uscì la progenie
al mondo antico
sublime datore di un altro”.