The building is named after Annalena Malatesta, daughter of Countess Orsini and Galeotto Malatesta, Lord of Rimini.
Annalena’s story was passed on to us by Niccolo Machiavelli in his Florentine Histories, written in the early 16th century.
After losing both parents, Annalena was first entrusted to the care of Count Attilio Vieri dei Medici and then adopted, along with her immense inheritance, by her cousin Cosimo dei Medici who, together with his wife Contessina dei Bardi, raised her as their own daughter, giving her the very best education and instruction.
The young Annalena, reputed to have been a great beauty, fell in love with the mercenary commander Baldaccio d’Anghiari whom she married in 1439 in a solemn ceremony in the Basilica of San Lorenzo.
For her dowry, Cosimo gave Annalena the Palazzo on the Via Romana, where the couple took up residence.