A sacred place steeped in tradition in the heart of the city
The English Cemetery in Florence is located in Piazzale Donatello and was started as a Protestant Cemetery outside the city walls near Porta a Pinti, where it got its original name from. The cemetery is found on a hill that people would climb to the top of, starting in the 19th century, to see the soccer games that were played in the nearby field, where viale Matteotti is today. The area was given to the Swiss Reformed Church by the Grand Duchy in 1827 and was enlarged in 1860 when another piece of land was handed over.
The cemetery owes its current layout to Giuseppe Poggi, when in 1870, in preparation for Florence becoming the capital of Italy, the city walls were demolished and Piazzale Donatello was created.
The cemetery closed its doors in 1877, becoming a custodian of the memory “of a small community and a cosmopolitan and rebellious 19th century” that honoured Florence.
The tombs aren’t arranged in a strict, ordered manner as is typical of Catholic cemeteries, but is rather a Romantic landscape.
The cemetery is an interesting demonstration of the foreign community in Florence: the tombs of Giovan Pietro Vieusseux, the pedagogue Enrico Schneider, the philosopher Sismondi and the historian Davidsohn highlight the cultural efforts of the community, but no less important are the tombs of artists like J.C. Muller, Counis and Powers, or Anglo-Florentine literary giants such as Elisabeth Barrett Browning.
If you are visiting Tuscany you cannot miss Florence. The Renaissance city is a treasure trove of art with an astonishing contemporary vibe. Beyond the extraordinary artistic heritage, a testimony to its centuries of civilization, the best way to enjoy Florence is to stroll along the riverside avenues at sunset, or to get lost among the city’s myriad alleyways of the bohemian Oltrarno or the ...