If you had to pick a town to have an unplanned rest day, Piacenza is a great place to do it. In fact, it is so nice, we rested two days! Now it is lacking the great art museums, but it has everything else the big cities of Italy have, but at 1/20th the size. It is also lacking one other thing compared to other big Italian cities - tourists. As we were told "only Italians and a few Germans visit here".
It does have one thing that we are starting to notice on this trip - immigrants. Many, many immigrants of every nationality, all speaking italiano. Our hotel is in the immigrant section of old town and reminds us of the diversity we see every day in California.
But a few steps futher into old town, the plaza surrounding the Duomo is just like any other town, except there are no camera toting, baseball hat wearing folks speaking overly loud to one another. Except us, of course!