Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, at 150 metres from Residence Hilda is one of the most beautiful squares in Florence and is undoubtedly the dearest one for the people of Florence from a religious point of view.
Indeed, it represents one of the oldest places of charity in the world, especially because of the Spedale degli Innocenti (1445): not just an orphanage (the first in Europe), but the first foundling hospital in the world. The institution soon specialized in receiving newborn babies who were abandoned for whatever reason (hence named “the Innocents”).
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata is also an unparalleled architectural masterpiece, the first example of renaissance architecture origination from multiple contributions by the top artists of the time: from Antonio da Sangallo the Elder to Michelozzo, from Leon Battista Alberti to Brunelleschi.
This latter designed the Loggia of Spedale degli Innocenti, then replicated in three of the four sides that define the Piazza: an effect of harmony and balance which leaves visitors amazed and full of admiration still nowadays.
The main sites of interest in Piazza della Santissima Annunziata are:
Spedale degli Innocenti, which is still carrying out charitable activities: it hosts two crèches, one nursery school, three family homes destined to receive children in foster care and mothers in distress, as well as some UNICEF research offices.
The adjacent Pinacoteca dello Spedale is a museum of greatest interest that has recently been refurbished and opened to the public: it features some renaissance masterpieces, including works by Luca della Robbia, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio. Visitors of the museums may also stop by at the nearby Café del Verone and enjoy an amazing view of Florence and of the Brunelleschi’s Dome.
The Loggiato dei Serviti, also known as Loggia dei Servi di Maria, is located opposite the Spedale and replicates its architectural style.
The square is closed by the Santissima Annunziata Cathedral, a major example of Florentine architecture dedicated to the Christian faith. It holds some works and frescoes by Bronzino, Poccetti, Pontormo, Perugino and the Pietà, a marvellous statue by Baccio Bandinelli.
Finally, we should mention the National Archaeological Museum, which is also accessible from the entrance of Palazzo della Crocetta.
A Residence near Spedale degli Innocenti and Piazza della Santissima Annunziata is therefore the ideal solution to enjoy your time and visit this wonder of Florence; please note that the square is the venue for cultural and music festivals, summer concerts with international echo as well as art and antiques markets.