Walking through the piazza you come across other curiosities, such as the iron window under the portico in the left extremity of the Spedale degli Innocenti. Here is what remains of the ancient “wheel”, where at one-time, needy mothers and those in difficulty abandoned their new-born babies. Mothers would often tie a coloured bow, a medallion, a piece of fabric or buttons around the little ones’ necks, which the nuns looked after with care. These “anonymous symbols” could in fact be used to identify the child if the mother ever decided to take them back. Today many of these objects are on display in the Museo degli Innocenti.
Moving to the centre of the piazza you find the equestrian monument of Ferdinando I de’ Medici. On the back of the pedestal, Ferdinando requested that a depiction of his own “endeavour” be included: a queen bee surrounded by a myriad of worker bees, as if to signify him representing the centre of the Grand Duchy, while the working population build and labour around him. The bees are placed in a staggered and semi-circular formation, making it extremely difficult to count them without getting confused. This led to the legend that says the bees can be never be counted, though in fact there are nighty one.