1. Florence: Hospital of the Innocents Guided Tour
Discover the ancient history of Spedale degli Innocenti, the Hospital of the Innocents, on a guided tour of Europe’s first orphanage. Learn of the inspiring origins of this 15th century institution, and of the orphaned or abandoned children who were cared for here through the ages. Marvel at the architectural talent of Brunelleschi who finished the structure in 1419, making it one of the oldest works of Renaissance architecture. Stroll through Piazza della Santissima Annunziata and its distinct arches, called Loggia del Brunelleschi, which are considered a symbol of Florence. Today, the building houses two kindergartens, a nursery school, three homes for the children, and Unicef offices. Inside, you will also visit the Museum of the Innocents, with enlarged and renovated exhibition space across three levels. Walk the 600 year old path full of tales of hope and tragedy. Peruse the personal memories of the "nocentini", cards that were written by almost every child welcomed here from the 15th to the 17th century with details of their lives. Explore the museum gallery which displays works by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio , the nurses' choir, and other artistic treasures.