Battaglia della Trebbia - Gutturnio Colli Piacentini DOC

The Trebbia Battle. Along the river that flows through Piacenza took place one of the most extraordinary events of the second Punic War: elephants and horses, trumpets on whinnies, yells of people in incomprehensible tongues, echoes of swords, broken shields, thuds, lances whistles.

It was the year 218 b.c., a rigorous December day. Snow plentifully fell, the waters of Trebbia river were icy and swollen, Hannibal was camped on the left side of the river, the Romans on the right one.

Hannibal’s plan was to keep the centre of his army on the defensive, to outflank and assault Romans with his wings, to force them ford the river while his brother, Mago, in wait in a gorge, was ready to assault the enemies from behind. The ambush succeeded: Romans reacted on impulse and fell in the trap. The general Sempronius did not think coldly and against the advice of the older Scipio, let the greater part of the army chase the Carthaginians. At the end about 30.000 men were destroyed.

The Trebbia was crucial. Hannibal exploited its terrible waters: many Romans never got out of them and the few who reached its sides, exhausted and cold, were no menace to the dry and well lined up Carthaginian troops. Hannibal, great strategist, had won the first real battle of his Italian campaign.