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» SS. Annunziata District
At the heart of this district lies the magnificent Piazza Santissima Annunziata, a beautiful space dominated by the presence of the elegant SS.Annunziata Church.
The Square is often adjudged as one of the most beautiful in Florence, This church originally stood outside the second circle of city walls. Between 1444 and 1481 Michelozzo, Pagno Portinari and Antonio Manetti (with suggestions from the architect Alberti) remodelled it into its present form.
The facade has a portico that rests on Corinthian columns and the central portal leads to the Chiostrino dei Voti (1447), a scenic space with lunettes frescoed by Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, and Andrea del Sarto (1511-1513). Also to be admired is Volterrano's magnificent coffered ceiling (1664)... What we're saying is, if you live in this district you can't miss a visit to this church (come on, we're not asking you to go to Sunday morning mass!...)
The piazza is flanked by the Brunelleschi-designed and La Robbia-decorated faηade of the Spedale degli Innocenti which was the first orphanage in Europe.The building is inspired by classical models that Brunelleschi studied in Rome.
Under the loggia of the hospital, is still possible to observe the famous wheel where you could anonymously leave babies by placing them into a cavity that opened as the wheel turned. Ophans were called "Innocents", which is still how they are commonly called in Florence. The Spedale today houses a museum as well as some offices of UNICEF.
The statues in the middle of the square are the equestrian figure of Grand Duke Ferdinand I, Giambologna's last work, and completed by his pupil Tacca in 1608, and two bronze fountains of sea-creatures, dating from 1629 and the work, with his assistants, of Pietro Tacca, the versatile Carraran sculptor, metalworker and architect.
The area is also known for some nice live music clubs, bars and some good restaurants (for more info visit restaurantsinflorence.com)
(Article by dotFlorence Staff)