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San Francesco Church

In the San Francesco church on 10th May 1848 Piacenza "Primogenita" (the First Born) held a plebiscite to be annexed to the newborn Regno d’Italia.


Address: Piazza Cavalli, 68
Telephone: +39 0523 321988


Opening hours:
weekdays: 8.30 am to noon and 3 to 6 pm
holidays: 9 am to 12.30 am  and 4 pm to 7 pm




Built between 1278 and 1363 upon request of the Ghibelline Umbertino Landi, the church is in Lombard Gothic style with a cotto brick façade. The Friars Minor were in charge of the building works and on a very short time span they had a church with a monastery annexed. The church was enriched with artworks, and the convent kept growing in size so that in the 19th century it occupied the whole Piazzetta Plebiscito and included three cloisters with gardens inside. During Napoleon’s dominion the church was still open, though with a short break where it became first a warehouse and then a hospital. It was successively given back to the religious order, but in 1810 they left it definitively. The most important event that involved the church happened in 1848, when Piacenza was annexed to Regno di Sardegna after holding a plebiscite. San Francesco was restored several times, and it presents characteristics similar to its Bolognese counterpart, where it is possible to see the influence of the Cistercian monastic architecture from Burgundy, like the apse plan surrounded by chapels. On the façade it presents two buttresses, a mullioned window, spires, and a middle portal from the 15th century (the side portals were built later in time), and the imposing flying buttresses on the sides. On the right side of the church there is the cloister, of which only a portico remains because the Municipality demolished almost the whole convent around 1940. The church inside preserves tombs of important people, paintings, sculptures, and remains of frescoes from the 14th and 15th centuries. It is worth mentioning the sculpture on the portal lunette depicting S. Francis’s stigmata (circa 1480). The dome of the Immacolata chapel was frescoed by Giovanni Battista Trotti called ‘Il Malosso’ (1597).

Jun 25, 2020 - Dec 13, 2014