Where is it
Podenzano is located in a corner of the plain between the Nure and the Trebbia rivers, just over 10 km from Piacenza.
Why visit it
The district of Podenzano has been inhabited since ancient times, first with settlements of the terramare people and later the Gauls, the Romans and the Lombards; at this time the area belonged to the monastery of San Colombano in Bobbio. Since the Middle Ages, the Malaspina and Anguissola families have dominated the history of the district. Numerous castles and villas (almost all still privately owned and not open to visitors) are a testament to these past centuries.
Thanks to its geographical position, the area of Podenzano has enjoyed considerable industrial and commercial development.
Agriculture, which has always been the backbone of the area’s economy, is still very important today, primarily for the cultivation and processing of tomatoes (production of tomato sauce), and also raising cattle and pigs. Many farms also sell their products directly to the consumer, ideal for the purchase of cured meats (salumi) and cheeses, together with other local products.
When to go and what to see
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit in terms of the weather, but during the summer there are numerous festivals connected to the world of food and wine, and non-competitive walks/runs are organised in every season, which attract large numbers of sportsmen and women.
To visit: the outside of the old Castle built by the Malaspina in 1152, modified many times, and now the town hall.
The parish church of San Germano e San Giovanni Bosco, rebuilt in neoromanesque style between 1934 and 1940, frescoed by the artist Luciano Ricchetti from Piacenza. Occasionally opened the recently restored chapel of San Giacomo delle Caselle, built between the 11th and 12th centuries, can also be visited.
On the table
Tortelli con la coda, pisarei e fasö are not to be missed in any traditional menu, just as the starter, or maybe a generous afternoon snack, must include the PDO cured meats (salumi D.O.P. piacentini ) of Piacenza, the coppa, salame and pancetta, and maybe also the local cheeses.
A few years ago a local establishment for curing meat products added to the list of the famous salumi of Piacenza a new type, the Saviotto, a variant of the shoulder of ham (fiocco di prosciutto or di spalla), prepared and seasoned using the same process as Parma ham.
Carnival in the Val Nure-Val Chero.
During the month of June, L’Acchiappasorrisi is a theatre season dedicated to children.
In July there is a festival dedicated to the tomato, the Festa of the Pomodoro piacentino, the main product of this area.
During the summer and autumn, there are festivals and sagre in Podenzano and in the surrounding villages: these are moments to enjoy live music, including traditional music, to dance, and to appreciate the local food and wine.
The municipality lies entirely within the plain and the flat countryside is crossed by easy paths, to follow on foot or cycling. The main paths are of great naturalistic interest (there are panels that illustrate the nature of the territory), and lead into the bed of the River Nure, so as to reach San Giorgio, the hills of Vigolzone and Ponte dell’Olio.