A City of Churches and Bicycles: A day in Piacenza - Cycle Tour in the Po Valley - CycleBlaze

May 8, 2012

A City of Churches and Bicycles: A day in Piacenza

An Italian breakfast is something you take on the go in the local café or bar, and consists of a cappuccino or espresso or espresso doppio and a piece of pastry. The youth hostel breakfast didn't have much more to offer - or maybe not as much - but it was in the price of the room. Coffee from the coffee machine, cornflakes, some pre-packed pastries and zwieback. This start into the day gave us all the more reason to take a coffee break for a good coffee and fresh pastry as soon as possible.

We cycled into town and spent the day getting to know the city. In addition to looking at churches, Janos had fun with geocaching, a new way to get a little more involved in a foreign city. If this page seems to be a bit heavy on the church aspect of Piacenza, it's not due to any deeply rooted Catholicism on either my or Janos's part, but because we are both interested in art and architecture. In this respect, almost every historic town in Italy is more or less a museum and the Catholic church is responsible for magnificent masterpieces.

High ceilings and beautiful feeling of space
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Intriguing play of light and dark
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Endless detail from marble floor to frescoed ceiling
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Another perspective
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Often I was reminded of Dutch renaissance paintings of church interiors.
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View to the ceiling
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Charmaine RuppoltGreat ceiling picture!
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2 months ago
Simplicity on the exterior
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Effective use of black and white
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Janos taking a break
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We noticed that there is much more bicycle traffic here and in the other cities we visited than I can recall in previous years.  Most towns also had a rental bike system.

Taking a break while doing errands by bike
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View to the Cathedral
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In the evening we again enjoyed a good meal at our local ristorante La Grotta Azzura. When we unlocked our bikes to ride back to the youth hostel, we noticed our helmets were missing. I usually left my helmet hanging from the handlebars since hardly any Italian cyclists wear helmets and I figured no one wanted it anyway. I asked the people sitting outside if they had noticed anything. No, they hadn't but they were upset that this should have happened to foreign visitors in their town. When we got back to our room, I was sorry to have made a fuss. We had left our helmets in our room and hadn't even noticed it.

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