Art in the Cemetery of the Holy Gate in Florence, Italy

With a zoom lens you can view the Duomo in Florence

Cemetery of the Holy Gate
Located next to the church San Miniato al Monte.

Italy is packed with art and the city of Florence, Italy is no exception.    Major museums display and protect some of the most famous paintings, tapestries and sculpture.  

Sculptures can be found outside of formal institutions.     You can view sculpture in a public piazza, as ornamentation to a building or even in private homes.

San Miniato al Monte

But do not miss the amazing sculpture in the local cemeteries.

The artists creating grave memorials do not restrict themselves to crosses as I discovered in the three cemeteries I recently visited. 

On this visit I climbed the hill to San Miniato al Monte to find the entrance to the Cemetery of the Holy gate to the left of the Church.  Check times and days open on line.


Don’t miss the crypt in the lower level.                                    The dome pictures are done in mosaics


Angels have always been my favorite.   The mystery of how wings are attached to the statue or more amazing, how they might be planned as part of the block of marble keeps me searching for  every angel in the cemetery.   When in Rome be sure to visit the English Cemetery too.

In addition to wings the artists have created drapery (robes and clothing) that appears soft as it folds around a figure.      Perhaps the most arresting features can be the facial expressions that convey such intense emotion.  Perhaps my favorite tomb in this cemetery, is in a more remote location and you come around the corner to find her weeping.

What is missing for most of the monument art is the name of the artist.   The family name is on most stones and usually the name of each interned but few stories about the occupants or the artist.

Perhaps one of the most discussed stories is that of Antonio and Maria.  You see the 5 foot figures as you enter the main part of the cemetery and the white stone glows.   What happened to these two young people?     Their stone says they passed within 2 months of each other.  Were they just married or were they brother and sister who their mother wished them to  be together.    This story needs to be researched and the on line information verified.  Whatever the background, I felt sad when visiting them.  

                A resting angel?   A guardian angel?    What is the cost for a private piece of art?

                           There are multi story crypts to accommodate more graves.

                            Some families build mausoleums that resemble miniature villas.

In the courtyard at the front of the church you will find a gift shop selling handcrafts.   There is a large display of small bottles of home remedies I expect the brothers make.   The directions are in Italian but there is a short summary for the use of each bottle.   Apparently they are well know for their ice cream.  The freezer was almost empty!   Make time to visit while you are exploring the property.    Note:  WC available at the left of the entrance to the cemetery.

Photos are often part of the monuments and fresh flowers are left on many of the graves.

Sunday was a day family members visited the cemetery in Sorrento.  It was a family day that could included a picnic.    

                     There are other more modern memorials with perhaps specific meanings.  Both of these                                             are very large stone pieces, larger than 6 feet high.

If you have found a tour guide in Florence who knows the history of this cemetery please share their contact information.

Although I appreciate your comments, promotional links will not be posted.  For international visitors, please send comments translated to English.

Published by Lee Laurino

A traveler not a tourist, searching for experiences not in travel books. Solo traveler who travels as long and far as possible sharing photos of the people and places I discover

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