Artist: Sandro Botticelli
The unmissable masterpiece: Tondo of the Virgin adoring the Child with the infant St. John
Where: Palazzo Farnese, Piacenza
The Pinacoteca, on the 1st floor of Palazzo Farnese, houses a precious Tondo by Botticelli, depicting the Madonna adoring the Child with San Giovannino.
Painted about 30 years before the more famous Tondo Doni preserved in the Uffizi, it is said to have been made on the basis of the fourteenth-century apocryphal text by Giovanni De Cauli from San Gimignano in which it is told of San Giovannino in an adoring attitude towards the Child Jesus.
The splendid original carved and gilded frame immediately catches the attention, highlighting the subject.
Our tip: come as soon as the building opens (in the morning or afternoon) to leave yourself time to do the Civic Museums justice. The Museum of carriages, the Italian Unification museum, the Archaeology Museum, and the Weaponry hall are particular highlights.
Bonus artworks in the city: Ecce Homo by Antonello da Messina at the Collegio Alberoni
Find out more about the city of Piacenza; its sober aristocratic finery is sure to win you over.