Beola has always been considered the traditional material of the Piacenza area for two reasons: first of all, in the province of Piacenza there were no important or noteworthy quarries and the stones present were a bit too soft and frosty (therefore not really indicated to resist the bad weather of our climate) and secondly the gneiss was advantageous both for the cost which was not too high, and for the ease of transport.
In fact, gneiss has been extracted since the Renaissance in Val d’Ossola, Piedmont, in the provinces of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Novara, where we find small quarries offering limited production. Since the past centuries this stone has been widely used in the areas along the Ticino and the Po up to Cremona where it was transported by river.
Thanks to the easy connection allowed by the Ticino river, it has become a fundamental stone of Milanese construction, both in the construction of historic buildings, both in the interior and exterior, and for the typical balconies of the ringhiera houses.
The gneiss was therefore used throughout the Po valley: from large cities such as Milan, Pavia, Cremona, Piacenza up to the smaller towns of these ancient provinces and along the river Po up to the Parma area.
In the areas beyond Parma, therefore from Reggio Emilia onwards to Romagna, the stones used for construction were quarried in the neighboring areas (e.g. Canossa).