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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 45.0524, 9.69874
Piacenza is an industrial town long past its heyday. We had chosen a convenient hotel on the outskirts- the Hotel City- a functional modern place but at least it had all the toiletries and protected parking in the basement. Beware the garage gates because they swing outwards and we managed to get the front of the Jag in the way after a very tight negotiation of the bends to the garage! Claudia was the very helpful receptionist who was there when we arrived and when we got back in the evening and was there in the morning too. We were not hopeful of a great meal but at the Antica Romea round the corner from the hotel we had a lovely meal at half the price of the previous night in France.
The following morning after a pleasant buffet breakfast, more extensive than the one in France and again at half the price we drove into the old centre of Piacenza. As it was a Saturday it was market day and the place was heaving. Do not fall into the trap of being directed into an impossible parking space by Africans who then charge you even though it is pay
and display. Piacenza has very narrow streets which are mostly one way but if you can get to nearly the end of Via Borghetto there is plenty of parking and only a 10 minute walk back into the centre. The main sites are the equestrian statues in the main square, the arcade at one side of the square and the Duomo. It takes under an hour to do. We bought bread and dried mushrooms and were soon off down south again. There are fewer picnic spots in Italy than France but we were lucky to find a pretty one with tables in a wood.
Our Satnav did not have the place where we were going so we had to follow the written instructions from the Villa. The Borga Personalita , near Sovicille south east of Siena, is a huge converted farm house with 4 large double bedrooms each with en suite facilities all very attractively decorated and also with a huge lounge. However it is in the middle of nowhere down a long dirt road which the Jag did not like at all Ursa the friendly owner who lives in one of the houses in the complex cooked us a
lovely dinner on our first evening and also provided breakfast on the first morning after which we decided to cater for ourselves There is a good supermarket in San Rocca and also a nice bar so we were soon sorted on the first day. There has been a lot of rain down here and the surrounding countryside is very green. Looking at the sky we are not hopeful of much sun.
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