The Basilica of Santissima Annunziata is one of the best-known Marian sanctuaries in the world. Of ancient origins, beyond its crucial role in the civil, social and religious history of Florence, its importance extends well beyond the city walls and the borders of Italy. The Basilica was subject to numerous transformations from the 13th century on.
Then in the Renaissance period it became an authentic cultural worksite when around a hundred Italian and Flemish artists were engaged in creating chapels and altars sponsored by the most important Florentine families. The artists involved in building up over the centuries the vast heritage of art contained inside the basilica included Andrea del Sarto, Volterrano, Jacopo da Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Giambologna, Michelozzo, Bernardino Poccetti, PietroTacca, Passignano and Luca della Robbia.
The entire area comprising the Basilica, the buildings of the monumental complex (the Spedale degli Innocenti, the Loggiato dei Servi di Maria, Palazzo della Crocetta and Palazzo Grifoni) and the square designed by Brunelleschi and executed by Antonio da Sangallo in line with the Renaissance concept of the “ideal city”, represents an important architectural whole that is clearly defined within the civic context.