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A peaceful island in the middle of a crossroads of very busy streets on the main ring of avenues: this is the English cemetery in Florence.

il cimitero inglesi

This monumental cemetery is raised up slightly from the ground, on an artificial hill, and is the last resting place of the English and other nationalities who did not belong to the Catholic faith. Between 1828 and 1878, a number of prominent figures such as the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Walter Savage Landor, Fanny Trollope and Gian Pietro Vieusseux were buried there.

The cemetery, with its graves adorned with statuary and surrounded by trees, in typically nineteenth-century romantic taste, is an oasis of tranquillity and open to visitors. Admission is free.

An interesting detail: it would seem that the cemetery, with its round and elevated shape, was the inspiration for one of the most famous paintings by Arnold Boecklin, The Isle of the Dead. In this cemetery, which Boecklin could see from his house in Florence, his daughter was also buried. The Swiss artist spent a period in Florence from 1894, and died in the Fiesole hills in 1901.

 

Published: 6/1/2016

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