One of the main reasons I trekked all the way up to Bologna and its environs - the Musei Civici di Reggio Emilia. Reggio Emilia is about an hour north of Bologna by train, and its civic museum plays host to the collections of the 18th century naturalist Lazzaro Spallanzani. The collection is, in short, gorgeous. Many of the specimens are in their original display settings, which makes me wish science still appreciated aesthetic beauty (that round thing is a bezoar!). It’s an amazing cabinet of curiosities (some of which were a little too curious for me to post here - there’s gotta be a line, and that line is human conjoined twins in a jar).
NB: I took a ton of photos, but it’s a little dark in there, so some of them didn’t turn out that well. As such, photos 1 and 2 above are from the flickr of Joanna Ebenstein, who apparently has a nicer camera than I do.
Ulisse Aldrovandi was regarded, by people like Carl Linnaeus and others, to be The Father of Natural History. His cabinet of curiosities forms the foundation of the collections at the Palazzo Poggi, and, thank the public domain gods, his published works seem to be available in their entirety on the internet (via Wikipedia).
Anatomical preparation showing the arteries in the head and neck of an elk, and a fetal horse skeleton, Museo di Anatomia Comparata.