Piazza della Santissima Annunziata
This bustling square in central Florence is marked by a massive equestrian statue of Ferdinando I de’ Medici and two Mannerist fountains by Renaissance sculptor Pietro Tacca at its center, but its pleasing symmetry is created by the matching arched porticoes running along three sides. Rub elbows with locals during one of the many outdoor markets held in Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, or visit the 15th-century Basilica della Santissima Annunziata and the Ospedale degli Innocenti, the oldest lay orphanage in Europe that is now home to one of the city’s most fascinating museums.
Many Renaissance Florence walking tours by day or night include a stroll through the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, along with skip-the-line tickets to the nearby San Marco Museum. The square is also a popular stop on photography tours of the city.
Things to know before you go
- Tours of Renaissance Florence and Piazza della Santissima Annunziata require a bit of walking, so choose comfortable shoes.
- There is no shade in the center of the square and the porticoes offer little protection from the sun. It’s a good idea to wear a hat and sunscreen when visiting.
- The square is flat and well-paved and easy to navigate by wheelchair.
- Largely closed to traffic, Piazza della Santissima Annunziata is a welcome respite from the car-choked streets of much of Florence’s city center.
How to get there
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata is located in the center of Florence, a 10-minute walk from Santa Maria Novella train station and the Duomo.
When to get there
This sweeping public space has very little shade and can get uncomfortably hot during the summer. Visit early or late in the day for cooler temperatures and better light for photos.
Ospedale degli Innocenti, a Piece of Florentine History
Designed by Brunelleschi in the 15th century, the Ospedale degli Innocenti is considered an architectural masterpiece. Home to Europe’s first lay orphanage that housed children for centuries, today the building holds a multimedia museum dedicated to the orphanage’s long history, as well as a collection of important Renaissance paintings by Il Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, and della Robbia.
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- Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia)
- San Marco Museum
- Ospedale degli Innocenti
- Michelangelo's Statue of David (Il Davide di Michelangelo)
- Leonardo da Vinci Museum (Museo Leonardo da Vinci)
- Leonardo Interactive Museum®
- Florence Via Cavour (Via Camillo Cavour)
- Medici Riccardi Palace (Palazzo Medici Riccardi)
- Basilica of San Lorenzo (Basilica di San Lorenzo)
- Florence Central Market (Mercato Centrale)
- Brunelleschi's Dome (Cupola del Brunelleschi)
- San Lorenzo Market (Mercato di San Lorenzo)
- Florence Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria dei Fiori)
- Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto)
- Opera del Duomo Museum (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo)