The city of Castelfiorentino and the Istituto degli Innocenti in Florence are united by the story of a newborn baby girl, Agata Smeralda, an orphan taken in at the Florentine facility on 5 February 1445 – or 1444 according to the calendar count in force at the time, with the year beginning on 25 March – and then delivered to the local community of Quercecchio as a wet nurse.

Agata Smeralda, who owes her name to the patron of wet nurses and nursing mothers and to a precious stone, crossed the threshold of the Spedale and was the first child given in external foster care; after a few months, on 22 October, and three different families taking care of her, she was taken back to Florence where she died on 22 December.

The Istituto degli Innocenti took in children left in the stack of the outside loggia, later to become a window, until 1875.

Some excerpts of the vicissitudes of little Agata Smeralda are offered by Storie di bambini.

This site is registered on as a development site.