Cimitero degli inglesi (Firenze)

( English Cemetery, Florence )

The English Cemetery in Florence, Italy (Italian, Cimitero degli inglesi, Cimitero Porta a' Pinti and Cimitero Protestante) is an Evangelical cemetery located at Piazzale Donatello. Although its origins date to its foundation in 1827 by the Swiss Evangelical Reformed Church, the name "English Cemetery" results from the majority of its burials being Protestants from the British and American communities of Florence, and who gave the largest sum of money for the purchase of its land. The cemetery also holds the bodies of non-English speaking expatriates who died in Florence, among them Swiss and Scandinavians, as well as Eastern Orthodox Christians, among them Russians and Greeks. The cemetery is still owned by the Swiss Evangelical Reformed Church, and is open for the interment of cremated ashes, now of all Christian denominations, but no longer for burials.

Before 1827, non-Catholics who died in Florence were buried in the Old English Cemetery, Livorno of the Nations, the city then known to English-speakers as Leghorn. (The Jewish monumental cemetery had been established in 1777.) In 1827 the Swiss Evangelical Reformed Church acquired land outside the medieval wall and gate of Porta a' Pinti from Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany for an international and ecumenical cemetery, Russian and Greek Orthodox burials joining the Protestant ones. A young architectural student, Carlo Reishammer, landscaped the cemetery. Giuseppe Poggi then shaped it as its present oval when Florence became capital of Italy in 1865. He surrounded it with studios for artists, including that of Michele Gordigiani, who painted the portraits of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, now in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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