This church was founded in 1250 as the Holy Annunciation. It was rebuilt between 1444 and 1481. It’s atrium contains frescoes by the Mannerist artists Rosso Fiorentino, Andrea del Sarto, and Jacopo Pontormo.
The dark interior of the church has a fresco ceiling completed by Pietro Giambelli in 1669. There is also a shrine painting of the Virgin Mary that was begun by a monk in 1252 but completed by an angel (according to Florentine legend). Newlywed couples visit the shrine to present a bouquet of flowers to the virgin and to pray for a happy marriage. The church is situated on the northern flank of Piazza della Santissima Annunciata, one of the finest Renaissance squares in Florence.
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The Ufizzi is one of Italy’s greatest art galleries. Art includes Florentine paintings, Byzantine icons, early Medieval works, as well as Renaissance masterpieces and Mannerist paintings.
The museum was built in 1560-80 to house offices for Duke Cosimo I. Iron was used as reinforcement which enabled Buontalenti to create an almost continuous wall of glass on the upper story. The Medicis use this will lead space to display the family are treasures creating what is now the oldest gallery in the world. Today the paintings are hung chronologically to show the development of Florentine art from Gothic to Renaissance and beyond.
Botticelli paintings are the highlight of the museums collection. Renaissance artist often experimented with new pigments. One painting is a celebration of spring with goddesses and 500 species of plant.
Michelangelo’s The Holy Family Is a round paintings with bright colors and unusually twisted pose of the Virgin Mary. Raphael’s Madonna of the Goldfinch shows earthquake damage from 1547. There are also works by Titian including the Venus of Urbino, which is said to be one of the most beautiful nudes ever painted.