An Italian Cemetery in Florence – Love captured…

img_3974I was just in Florence and I went up to The Abbey of San Miniato al Monte, which is above Piazza Michelangelo. My intention was to look at the church and see the breath taking views of Florence. I had arrived at the church early in the afternoon and they were closed for lunch. I had about an hour wait, so I started walking the grounds of the church expecting to see a beautiful garden, but instead they had a very interesting cemetery. I was captivated right away. I find old grave yards / cemeteries full of history.img_3961

A little trivia from my friend. She was told in Ireland that when a burial ground is in conjunction with the church it is a grave yard, when it is a standalone it is a cemetery. I had not thought about that. Good to know.

As I was walking through the grave yard I saw many beautiful mausoleums, sculptures, and tomb stones. Long ago, families really invested money in tomb stones that would convey a message of the love they had for a family member and/or also in honoring a family member’s accomplishments.

I came across a statue of a man and woman (see photo above) having a very romantic moment together. I thought it was beautiful, I had not seen something like this before. Normally, we think of grave yards/cemeteries as being spooky and scary, broken tomb stones, etc. This was different.

img_3977The statue made me smile. Secretly, from a distance, I was sharing in their special moment. I was curious as to “who” had commissioned this statue. The husband/wife before they died or maybe their children, because they knew how much the parents had loved each other. A treasured memory from the past, but also a way to keep their love alive. I felt it and I did think, “Thank you for sharing that moment with us!” It’s so sweet and innocent. A reminder that love does exist.

As I continued on, I saw this beautiful mausoleum and a sculpture of a military man, very handsome with all of his medals. There was more…

By the way, remember the story of “Pinocchio?” Well, the author Carlo Lorenzini (Collodi) is buried in this grave yard. I learned this after my visit. Next time, I will look for him and leave a little Pinocchio by his grave site.

So, it was a good thing that the church was closed for lunch. I experienced Florence and had a feeling of its history in a whole new way!  They say things happen for a reason.

Grazie!

11 thoughts on “An Italian Cemetery in Florence – Love captured…

  1. Thank you for bringing back fond memories of this stunning Romanesque basilica. The facade is so distinctive – I recognized it immediately – and the views of Florence below are some of the best. Glad to know the details of the distinctive graveyard now. I will have to see it for myself someday.

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  2. Your post brought so many memories to me. I lived in Florence for three months in 2015, and I think I did visit San Miniato al Monte, but it is a shame I did not look around so much or paid attention to details. Very interesting post.

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      1. Definitely. I’ve also heard that there now new museum opened or reopened in Florence: Ospedale degli Innocenti. Last time I was there, it wasn’t there. So, next time I will go to this cemetery and this museum.

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      2. My mother was born and raised in Florence, so I have spent a lot of time there. It’s been a long time since I have gone to museums. However, last year while I was there a friend had hired a guide and we walked Florence and he brought us to the library that was behind the Duomo. WOW – I was so excited.I love libraries and didn’t even think to “wonder” where the libraries were.. Also, the view of the back of the Duomo from the library was beautiful. My mother’s FAVORITE museum, which was 10 minutes from her house was The Museo Stibbert. She went there every Sunday as a child, because museums were free on Sunday and there was also a beautiful garden where families would meet. You can read about this museum and see some photos. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187895-d209475-Reviews-Stibbert_Museum-Florence_Tuscany.html

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      3. You are very interesting, indeed! I love libraries too, and next time I am in Florence I am sure to visit the places you mentioned. Last time I wanted to go to the Stibbert museum with my brother – he is crazy about medieval armoury, etc. – but somehow we did not because he did not have much time there. Now I realise what we have missed…

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      4. Well, sometimes to see different places you need some time. The Stibbert museum is probably 30-40 min walk from downtown, easier to take a bus there. The room with the medieval armour where the men are on horses in really beautiful. You can see how Stibbert had a love for this collection. Now, the museum is older, so the photos make it look like it is brand new, so don’t be disappointed if you go in and it “looks” like an older museum. Still beautiful, but you can tell getting older.

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      5. I am particularly ashamed of not vising this museum because I lived close to Fiesole and via Bolognese 😦 I could have been there so many times. I still think that many tourists should be more aware of it particularly since it is so good.

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      6. Ah, no need to be ashamed. Often tourists know more about Florence than I do and my mother was raised there. That is because when I would go to visit, I would stay with my grand parents. I would walk around Florence, I saw the main sights, but did not dig deep into the history. When I was with my Nonina it was to spend time with her, go for groceries, walk in the neighborhood, visit relatives in Rufina and so on. THAT’s why we go back to a place if we like it, so we can explore each time in a new way. Look at me… I just found the library near the Duomo!

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