Piazza della Santissima Annunziata

San Lorenzo & San Marco

Giambologna's equestrian statue of Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici commands the scene from the centre of this majestic square, dominated by the facades of Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata (1250), rebuilt by Michelozzo et al in the mid-15th century, and the Ospedale degli Innocenti, a foundling hospital and Europe's first orphanage founded in 1421. Look up to admire Brunelleschi's classically influenced portico, decorated by Andrea della Robbia (1435–1525) with terracotta medallions of babies in swaddling clothes

At the north end of the portico, the false door surrounded by railings was once a revolving door where unwanted children were left. Inside, the fascinating if tragic history of the orphanage is explored in depth in the state-of-the-art Museo degli Innocenti. About 200m northeast of the piazza is the Museo Archeologico, an archaeological museum showcasing an impressive Medici hoard of Renaissance antiquities.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby San Lorenzo & San Marco attractions

1. Museo degli Innocenti

0.04 MILES

Shortly after its founding in 1421, Brunelleschi designed the loggia for Florence's Ospedale degli Innocenti, a foundling hospital and Europe's first…

2. Museo Archeologico

0.04 MILES

Set a little bit back off Piazza della Santissima Annunziata is Florence's archaeology museum. Its rich collection of finds, including most of the Medici…

3. Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata

0.04 MILES

Established in 1250 by the founders of the Servite order and rebuilt by Michelozzo and others in the mid-15th century, this Renaissance church is most…

4. Galleria dell'Accademia

0.09 MILES

A queue marks the door to this gallery, built to house one of the Renaissance's most iconic masterpieces, Michelangelo's David. But the world's most…

5. Museo di San Marco

0.14 MILES

At the heart of Florence's university area sits Chiesa di San Marco and an adjoining 15th-century Dominican monastery where both gifted painter Fra'…

6. Giardino dei Semplici

0.18 MILES

Founded in 1545 to furnish medicine to the Medici, Florence's botanical gardens – managed today by the university – are a wonderfully peaceful retreat in…

7. Palazzo Medici-Riccardi

0.25 MILES

Cosimo the Elder entrusted Michelozzo with the design of the family's town house in 1444. The result was this palace, a blueprint that influenced the…

8. Cenacolo di Sant’Apollonia

0.25 MILES

Once part of a sprawling Benedictine monastery, this cenacolo (refectory) harbours arguably the city’s most remarkable Last Supper scene. Painted by…