Po River Plain Po River Plain Po River Plain Po River Plain Po River Plain Po River Plain Po River Plain Po River Plain

Po River Plain

This stage goes from Milan to Fidenza and Parma. Stage 6 is the flattest of the Italian EV5 route, crossing the large and smooth Po river valley between the metropolitan area of Milan and the foothills of the Apennines in the Parma province, going through charming art cities that offer the visitors a rich medieval and Renaissance heritage to discover.

Form Darsena, the harbor where two main canals, Grande and Pavese, meet, the EV5 route continues to Pavia, along the cycle path built on the bank of Naviglio Pavese, whose waters ends into river Ticino.

A milestone of Via Francigena, in the Middle Ages Pavia was the capital city of the Lombard kingdom. The Lombards opened up the so called route of Monte Bardone (Mons Langobardorum), today’s Cisa crossing, as a safe corridor from incursions by Byzantines to connect their northern territories to Tuscia and beyond, a corridor rich in churches and hospices to support travellers and pilgrims.
Piacenza is another milestone of via Francigena, developed in the strategic position near both the ford of the Po river and the entrance of the Apennines.

  • Fornovo di Taro: dome of S Maria Assunta

    The parish church is one of the most important Romanesque churches in the Parma region. Dating back to the 8th century, it currently has a hut shaped facade. In a niche there is a sculpture of a pilgrim that marks the path of the ancient Via Francigena. Two slabs with bas-reliefs depict hell and the seven capital sins. Dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and remembered since 854, the church has Longabardic origins that define its structure: three naves straight from stone and stone columns, the central one being higher and larger and illuminated by six monofores dating back to the eleventh century. Today there are only the remains such as the narthex, an ambon, a portal in the south side, and the palaces of the main altar.

  • Piacenza: Cathedral

    The building works began in 1122 on the remains of the pre-existing cathedral of S.Giustina, to be concluded in 1233. Its façade is characterized by two buttresses in sandstone in the upper part and in pink marble below. The three portals are each surmounted by a prothyrum. These are supported by masterpieces of Romanesque art, sculptures produced by Piacenza workshops inspired by the models of Wiligelmo and Nicolò. The tower and dome date back to the 14th century. Inside, Baroque art is exemplified in the frescoes by Carracci and Procaccini in the presbytery, and Guercino and Morazzone in the dome. The “Lo sposalizio di Santa Caterina” (Saint Catherine’s wedding) by Robert de Longe is also interesting. Also notice the panels of paratici which are testimony to the participation of local artisans to the building of the cathedral. The baptistery pool dates back to the pre-Christian era and attests the ancient origins of the Duomo.

  • Fidenza: Dome of San Donnino

    The Dome of San Donnino is the most prominent building in Fidenza. It was built in the 12th century and dedicated to Domninus of Fidenza, who was martyred by order of Maximian in 304 AD.The cathedral is an example of Lombard-Romanesque churches of the 11th to 13th centuries in northern Italy. The upper part of the façade is incomplete, but the lower, with its three portals and sculptures, is a fine example of Romanesque architecture, including two statues by Benedetto Antelami.

  • Chiaravalle: Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba

    The monastery of Chiaravalle owes its name to the dove (Colomba:Italian word for "dove") that, according to tradition, drew its perimeter. In 1135, Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux - the cistercian abbey in Langres, in Champagne, from which also the abbey took its name - arrived first in Milan and then in Piacenza, where, upon will of the bishop Arduino, he decided to found a cistercian community near Fiorenzuola, along the ancient via Emilia. Probably built before the half of the 12th century XII, the Church of Chiaravalle della Colomba has a basilical plan and its longitudinal body is divided into three naves. The transept is completed by 6 chapels symmetrically located at the sides of the flat apse. The apse, which faces the East, receives the light from a 5 circle limestone slab, as typical of some other cistercian examples. The 13th century cloister is remarkable and it is one of the most meaningful and harmonious examples of cistercian architecture in Italy.

  • Certified EuroVelo Route
  • Developed route with EuroVelo signs
  • Developed route
  • Route under development
  • Route at the planning stage

The stages