The city-owned museum of Piacenzan art and antiquities is housed in the vast Palazzo Farnese. The ruling family had commissioned a monumental palace, but construction, begun in 1558, was never completed as planned. The highlight of the museum's rather eclectic collection is the tiny 2nd-century BC Etruscan Fegato di Piacenza, a bronze tablet shaped like a fegato (liver), marked with the symbols of the gods of good and ill fortune. By comparing this
master "liver" with one taken from the body of a freshly-slaughtered sacrifice, priests predicted the future. The collection also contains Botticelli's recently restored Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist. Because it's under glass, you have the rare opportunity of getting very close to the piece to admire the artist's brushwork. Reserve ahead for free 1½-hour guided tours.