Founded in the 14th century as the oldest public institution in Italy, the “hospital of innocents” had always been exclusively dedicated to the welfare, education, and rights of abandoned children. Children were left at this orphanage anonymously by their mothers, the first being an infant only five days after opening. As difficult as it was for these mothers to give away their children, they knew that they would be cared for and brought up well, giving them a chance at a better life. The children were taught how to read and write and, depending on their gender, would be trained to have certain skills and abilities that will benefit them in the future.
Today, the institution provides services and aid to children as well as pregnant mothers in difficult situations. The museum itself shows you the history of the orphanage and how it has developed over the years. One of the first rooms upon entering holds a historical archive that documents the life of each children that passed through their doors. Engraved on the outside of every drawer is the name of a child. Slide open the drawer and you will find a piece of their belongings, usually given to them by their mothers. After looking through these drawers you will instantly feel connected with the children that grew up there. The museum isn’t home to just these archives. It also holds various sculptures and paintings created by artists like Sandro Botticelli!
Lastly, after making your way through the museum, you can head up to the terrace bar for some coffee and good food with a perfect view of the Duomo!
Monday to Sunday 10am-7pm
Price: €7 entrance; €10 entrance with audio guide
Come find us!
Piazza Santissima Annunziata 13, Florence, 50122
Tel: (+39) 055 203 7308
Photo credit: http://girlinflorence.com/2016/10/04/charitable-past-florence-museo-degli-innocenti/
Check out Girl in Florence’s blog about the Museo degli Innocenti – full of usefull and detailed information before you visit.