Tucked behind the 1,000-year-old church of San Miniato al Monte is the Cimitero delle Porte Sante (Sacred Doors Cemetery). The burial ground was founded in the 1800s for both common citizens and notable Florence residents. Here, the dead rest in peace, backdropped by stunning views of the city.
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 graveyard’s most popular and romantic statue is the one on the Mazzone grave. The effigies depict the two Mazzone siblings dancing together. Mario died while serving as a pilot during World War I, and his sister Maria died just before her wedding. Their mother wanted to represent them finally reunited in the afterlife, Mario wearing his uniform, and Maria wearing her wedding gown.
Some of the local celebrities buried here are Pellegrino Artusi, the “father of Italian cuisine,” fashion designer Enrico Coveri, and Carlo Collodi, author of The Adventures of Pinocchio.
Know Before You Go
The cemetery is open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It closes at 1:00 p.m. on Sundays. It's a five-minute walk away from Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Florence.