Official Tourist Information Site of the Piacenza local editorial office


Chiesa di San Sisto, ph. R. Dassoni, Archivio Comune di Piacenza

Margherita d’Austria, natural daughter of Charles V – Holy roman  Emperor-,  was born on the 5th July 1522 in Pamele-Audenarde in the Flanders; she was the duchess of Firenze and then duchess of Parma and Piacenza.

She got married for the first time in 1536 with Alessandro de’ Medici but after some years she became widow.


Margherita and Farnese Family

In 1528 she had to married Ottavio Farnese. Togheter, they got two sons, Alessandro and Carlo, unfortunatly this last child died preatty soon.

Margherita pushed the power of Farnese family to the controll of Piacenza city, which got lost after the murder of Pier Luigi Farnese. She was interested to the building of a palace, which could represent the strong dukal power.

Actually the Palazzo Farnese Palace was built by her will.

In the Netherlands

In 1559 Margherita went to the Netherlands as the governor to represent Filippo II,  her brother, the king of Spain. But soon, Margherita got some conflicts with the cardinal Antoine Perrenot from Granvelle, the real chief of the gouvernement, meanwhile she menaged to be recalled in 1563 from her brother Filippo II.

At that time Margherita had to solve a difficult and heavy situation, helping and lighting the laws against the Calvinists, a cause of that she was forced to stiffen herself during the beginning of the revolution.

In 1567 Margherita was replaced by Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, the third duke of Alba, who left Margherita coming back to Italy.

Lately Margherita moved back to the Netherlands from 1579 to 1581, because she wanted to help her son Alessandro as a chief of that land, but unforntunatly, because of some personal issues Filippo II decided to withdraw his appointment.

Margherita died in Ortona in 1586 when she was 64 years old.

At her request, she was buried in Piacenza in San Sisto church, where her funeral monument is still visible on the left transept. It was built starting from 1593 on the design of Simone Moschino.


Piazza Cavalli, 7 - Piacenza