The Piazza della Santissima Annunziata
is dominated by a statue of Grand Duke Ferdinand I de ‘Medici and filled with students from the university area. The Jazz&Co Festival
is held here in the summertime.
Overlooking the piazza is the Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata
(Picture 1) (open
7.30am-12.30pm, 4-6.30pm ). The church building was begun in 1250 by
the Servite order and reconstructed by Michelozzo in the 1400s. Its
atrium was decorated by Andrea del Sarto and the fifth chapel by Il
Established in the first half of the 15th century as the first European orphanage, the Ospedale degli Innocenti
is also home to great art. Highlights are Brunelleschi ‘s portico (Picture 2) with signs
of the classical design. It was later modified by Andrea della Robbia who
adorned it with depictions of babies wrapped in cloth. Children used to be
abandoned at the door at the northern extreme of the portico. The museum is located on the second floor(tel. 055 203 73 08; www.institutodegliinnocenti.it
; open 8.30am, to 7pm Mon-Sat, to 2 Sun) and houses the haunting Madonna of the Innocents
by Domenico di Michelino (1440), Adoration of the Magi
by Ghirlandaio (1488) (PIcture 3), Madonna with Holy Child and Angel
by Botticelli (1465-66) and Madonna and Saint Joseph
by Marco della Robbia (1505).
related to the function of the orphanage is the exhibition of name labels that orphans’ clothes had so they could be recognized by their mothers.
For a change from artwork, the Museo Archeologico
, just steps from the square, (tel. 055 23 57 50; Via della
Colonna 38; open 2-7pm Mon, 8.30am- 7pm Tue–Thu, 8.30am-2pm Wed, Fri
and Sun) houses reputable artefacts and the Medici antiquities. The
and Greco-Roman cultures are represented on the first floor.