The Basilica di Santissima Annunziata is a Renaissance style, Roman Catholic church. It is considered the mother church of the Servite Order, and was founded in 1250 by their seven original members.
In 1252 the Servite monks commissioned Frair Bartolomeo to paint the Annunciation. Legend has it that Bartolomeo agonized over his ability to adequately capture the beauty of the virgin’s face. Having completed the rest of the painting, he fell asleep in dispair. Upon awaking he realized that the painting had been finished. The completion of the Annunciation is considered to be a miracle. Word spread quickly and pilgrims began to arrive with offerings to the virgin.
In 1444 Santissima Annunziata had attracted the attention of the Gonzaga family from Mantua. They financed the structural version of the Basilica that you see today. Leon Battista Alberti was commissioned in 1469 to design and construct the church. The construction was completed in 1481 after Alberti’s death.
In 1601, architect Giovanni Battista Caccini added the façade of the church which imitated the façade of the Foundling Hospital, designed by Brunelleschi, on the east side of the square. In the 17th century, the church was refurbished in a Baroque style, while still maintaining its Renaissance origins. The Baroque interior of the church began decoration in 1644.
The church is also home to the oldest organ in Florence, and the second oldest in Italy, built in 1628.
Monday to Sunday from 7:30am to 12:30pm & from 4pm to 6:30pm
Plus Sundays and holidays: from 8:45pm to 9:45pm
Monday to Saturday at: 7am, 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm and 6pm
Sundays and holidays at: 7am, 8:30am, 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 6pm and 9pm
Price: Free entry!
How To Get There