In the subterraneans of Palazzo Farnese a highly prized collection of carriages is displayed to the public. Pieces were collected by Count Dionigi Barattieri throughout the first three decades of the 20th century and the whole collection was donated to the Council of Piacenza in 1948 by his heir Silvestro Brondelli di Brondello; other important pieces were added to the collection thanks to donations or deposits by private individues or boards.
The carriage museum only contains well preserved models which, throughout the years, have undergone no integrations, but by means of original parts.
The "Barattieri Collection" includes two 18th century gala Berlins and four 19th century travel Berlins. Berlins were the most common carriages throughout the 18th century. Originally they used to have 4 wheels, the coach body was secured by means of leather belts, it had 4 doors and the upholstery was made either of silk or velvet; in the 17th century they were mainly used by royals and court noblemen, while in the 18th century (when the body shifted to a rounded shape)their use spread among noblemen, both for long trips and short excursions in the countryside.
The gran Gala Berlin (a temporary deposit by the Presidence of the Republic) was carried out in 1879 by the carriage maker carrozziere Cesare Sala from Milano for the king of Italy. The box is richly decorated and bears the coat of arms of the Savoia Dinasty on the doors and bronze cast on the handles. The highly refined internal upholstery is grey both on the seats and on the walls.
In the 19th century, the most common type of carriage was the Landau, not only among aristocrats, but also among the high middle class.Two models are displayed in the museum:a Ferretti-Roma (1880-90) and a Cesare Sala-Milano (1890). The landau is convertible, thanks to the leather hood, with its wooden frame, which easily reclines.
The exhibition includes more models of carriages (among which several Stages, a rare example of Hansom-Cab, a refined Calèche-Barouche, a Spyder and several more), sedan-chairs, hearses, a firmen cart, a sicilian cart, not to mention newborn children prams, of which some models dating back to the 18th-19th century are displayed: they are designed like carriages, and in effect they followed their evolution. The same phenomenon applies to children's small toy carriages.