Between culinary art and Roman memories

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Piacenza is a recommended destination for gourmets, as here have origins many delicacies, both to drink and eat. The city is the palace of cold cuts, in fact the salami comes from this area, Piacenza coppa and bacon, fantastic accompaniers of the fried dumpling (or fried cake). Another culinary pearl of Piacenza are the pisarei and fasò, an excellent first dish made of gnocchetti and beans. Among the first courses there are also anolini, with beef stew, breadcrumbs, grana and nutmeg or without meat; piacentina tortelli, filled with ricotta, spinach and parmesan cheese; pumpkin tortelli, chestnut flour tortelli and lasagna alla bobbiese with mushroom sauce.

Among the second courses are tripe alla piacentina (also called “buseca”), composed of beef entrails and various vegetables, donkey stew, horse la piccola and cooked salami, often accompanied by polenta, there are also two types of roast, guinea fowl and duck.
As the Piacenza area is rather humid, in the past dishes based on snails and frogs were often served on the tables of farmers, and from this tradition remains the recipe for snails bobbiese, consisting of boiled snails and various vegetables.
The typical sweets of the area are different: the busslanein, donuts, prepared with or without butter, often sold as a necklace; the burtleina (bortellina), a cake made with yellow and white flour; the spisigona cake and the fig cake.
There are many wines of Piacenza origin: first of all gutturnio, which takes its name from a silver cup of Roman times found at the end of the nineteenth century on the banks of the Po; currently this wine, in taverns and restaurants, is served in bowls. Other wines produced in the hills of Piacenza are Barbera, Valnure, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malvasia, Monterosso Val d’Arda, Novello, Ortrugo, Trebbianino Val Trebbia, Sauvignon and three types of Pinot (grey, black and sparkling wine).


Prepared with the base of bread, the fried dumpling is divided into different parts, shaped like rhombs of various sizes, is fried, traditionally in lard, and then served in a basket, accompanied by the giardiniera of Piacenza (various vegetables in oil, including artichokes, olives and onions) and cold cuts. It is also possible to find fried dumpling accompanied by smoked salmon, a variant a little less typical and traditional, but still appreciable.


They are gnocchi made of flour and breadcrumbs served with a tomato sauce with onion, lard and beans. It is a poor but nutritious recipe, created by the farmers; initially the sauce was not made from tomato and the beans used were not the current borlotti, but the dolichos.


These biscuits originate from a town a few kilometres from Piacenza, San Nicolò, where every year, in the first half of June, a fair is held dedicated entirely to them, called “Fera dal Busslanein”. These are cookies in the shape of donuts, which are seared in hot water before being put into the oven.


The trattorias are certainly the best places to taste the typical dishes of the area, and can be found both in the city and in the neighboring towns, such as Niviano and Rivergaro, renowned for their cuisine. For a lunch hit and run, it is advisable to have a sandwich with local cold cuts bought in the butcher shop, especially during spring and summer, where it can be pleasant to have a picnic in one of the parks of the city. For a snack, if you want to eat something typical, the fried dumpling is definitely the best choice, also available in restaurants. For an aperitif, the locals in the city centre and the cellars on Corso Vittorio Emanuele offer a wide choice of typical wines accompanied by local cold cuts, one of which can be the “Barino”, which always offers a rich buffet, and is located in Piazza Cavalli. For dinner there are many restaurants in the city centre and on the outskirts; a place renowned for its excellent value for money is “La Carrozza”, a few steps from the station.

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