PIACENZA, city in northern Italy, formerly in the duchy of *Parma. Jewish moneylenders lived there in the 15th century and were attacked by the friars who condemned usury in their sermons. When *monti di pietà were established here and in Parma in 1488–90, the Jews from both towns scattered throughout the country districts in order to carry on their business there. Thus, around Piacenza, the small communities (now extinct) of Monticelli d'Ongina, Fiorenzuola d'Arda, and Cortemaggiore came into being and were able to carry on even after 1570, at which date Jews were forbidden to live in Piacenza.
Ravà, in: Educatore Israelita, 18 (1870), 169–80, 212–3; Loevinson, in: RMI, 7 (1932/33), 351–8; Milano, Italia, index; Roth, Italy, index; Zoller, in: RI, 7 (1910), 87–92.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.