Conceived around 1837, the Cimitero delle Porte Sante (The Sacred Doors Cemetery) is a monumental cemetery in Florence located within the fortified bastion of the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte.
The cemetery was designed by Niccolò Matas (the same architect of the Santa Croce facade), was inaugurated in 1848 and was later further expanded. The burials therefore go from the mid-1800s to the present day, because the cemetery is still in use. It immediately acquired a monumental character and became the place of choice for the eternal rest of the illustrious Florentines (but only of the Catholic ones), and the types of tombs are the most varied: there are ground tombs, elegant private chapels, simple dovecotes and real funeral monuments.
The cemetery serves as an open-air museum filled with sculptures and beautiful architecture. The private chapels and tombs are built in a medley of styles, ranging from neo-classic to Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Many of them are largely inspired by Florence’s medieval and Renaissance churches.
The cemetery was enlarged and in 1864 Mariano Falcini used the area of the sixteenth-century fortress lying around the church.
The Porte Sante Cemetery in Florence is a special place for several reasons. Not only is it one of the largest monumental cemeteries in all of Tuscany, it is rich in works of art and is the burial place of many important people. It is also placed in a privileged position: it extends all around San Miniato al Monte, on the fortified ramparts that surround the basilica and the monastery. The view from here is magnificent, and Piazzale Michelangelo is just a few steps away.
The Cemetery is perhaps most famous of the for some of those buried in it, including many famous artists, sculptors, musicians and authors. One is Carlo Lorenzini, better known as Carlo Collodi, Pinocchio's father. On the gate of the chapel is a card with a drawing of the most loved puppet in the world.
List of notable tombs (Wikipedia)