At the heart of this district lies the magnificent Piazza Santissima Annunziata, a beautiful space dominated by the presence of the elegant SS.Annunziata Church. This church originally stood outside the second circle of city walls. Between 1444 and 1481 Michelozzo, Pagno Portinari and Antonio Manetti (with suggestions from the architect Alberti) remodelled it into its present form.
The facade has a portico that rests on Corinthian columns and the central portal leads to the Chiostrino dei Voti (1447), a scenic space with lunettes frescoed by Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, and Andrea del Sarto (1511-1513). Also to be admired is Volterrano‘s magnificent coffered ceiling (1664)… What we’re saying is, if you live in this district you can’t miss a visit to this church (come on, we’re not asking you to go to Sunday morning mass!…)
This area is characterized by the strong presence of thousands of students that attend the several Faculties and University facilities that have their seats in this and in the neighboring San Marco district (literature, fine arts, architecture, student cafeterias, student houses, etc..).
Moreover in Piazza Brunelleschi, very close to Piazza Santissima Annunziata, there is the beautiful and well-organized ‘Centro Linguistico d’Ateneo‘ or ‘Rotonda Brunelleschi‘ where you can attend – at very reasonable prices (!) – courses in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic and more in the cool and relaxing atmosphere of this Public Linguistic Center designed by Brunelleschi himself…
Here you can find many inexpensive (but nice!) cafés (perfect for students and budget travellers), many pizzerias and Italian and international restaurants (with fixed menus for lunch) and many aperitif bars (where you can eat as much as you want for the price of a cocktail, around 6-8 Euros…).
The best streets in the area for eating and drinking economically are: Via dei Servi, Via dei Pucci, Via Bufalini and Via Capponi (it’s better if you arrive between 12am and 1pm, before the ‘invasion’ of the students and the employees in the area). The quality of food is good and prices are generally much lower than the ones you can find 200 meters away in overcrowded ‘Renaissance Disneyland‘… that is… the San Giovanni (Duomo) district.