The English Cemetery
Entrance fee: by offer
Opening hours monday: h 9.00 – 12.00, Saturday and Sunday closed
tuesday – friday h 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm (winter);
h 3.00 pm – 6.00 pm (summer).
The Reformed Evangelic Church of Switzerland acquired in 1827 the terrain outside the medieval walls, in Porta a’ Pinti suburb, to build an international cemetery for non-catholics.
Before that, not Catholics couldn’t be buried in Florence, but only in Livorno. Many artists’ studios, such as Michele Gordigiani’s, author of Elisabeth Barret Browning and Robert Browning portraits, now at the alla National Portrait Gallery of London used to live in the neighbourhood.
Charles Reishammer, a young student in architecture, designed what was then called the “English Cemetery” because it welcomed a lot of illustrious personalities of English nationality.
When Florence became the capital of Italy, the area suffered radical transformations; the walls were demolished, the ringroad was opened, and the oval-shaped Donatello square with the cemetery as an island was created. Among the illustrious personalities that elected this place as their last abode, let’s remember the poetess Elisabeth Barret Browning and the writer Frances Milton Trollope.
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