|With a zoom lens you can view the Duomo in Florence|
Cemetery of the Holy Gate
Located next to the church San Miniato al Monte.
Italy is packed with art and the city of Florence, Italy is no exception. Major museums display and protect some of the most famous paintings, tapestries and sculpture.
Sculptures can be found outside of formal institutions. You can view sculpture in a public piazza, as ornamentation to a building or even in private homes.
|San Miniato al Monte|
The artists creating grave memorials do not restrict themselves to crosses as I discovered in the three cemeteries I recently visited.
On this visit I climbed the hill to San Miniato al Monte to find the entrance to the Cemetery of the Holy gate to the left of the Church. Check times and days open on line.
San Miniato al Monte is a striking building above the Piazza Michelangelo, built between the 11th and 13th century. The church is known for the Gregorian chants sung by the brothers during celebrations. The interior is stunning but stay for the chants for another moving experience. Read about the history of the basilica here.
Don't miss the crypt in the lower level. The dome pictures are done in mosaics
Angels have always been my favorite. The mystery of how wings are attached to the statue or more amazing, how they might be planned as part of the block of marble keeps me searching for every angel in the cemetery
In addition to wings the artists have created drapery (robes and clothing) that appears soft as it folds around a figure. Perhaps the most arresting features can be the facial expressions that convey such intense emotion. Perhaps my favorite tomb in this cemetery, is in a more remote location and you come around the corner to find her weeping.
What is missing for most of the monument art is the name of the artist. The family name is on most stones and usually the name of each interned but few stories about the occupants or the artist.
Perhaps one of the most discussed stories is that of Antonio and Maria. You see the 5 foot figures as you enter the main part of the cemetery and the white stone glows. What happened to these two young people? Their stone says they passed within 2 months of each other. Were they just married or were they brother and sister who their mother wished them to be together. This story needs to be researched and the on line information verified. Whatever the background, I felt sad when visiting them.
Some families build mausoleums that resemble miniature villas.
In the courtyard at the front of the church you will find a gift shop selling handcrafts. There is a large display of small bottles of home remedies I expect the brothers make. The directions are in Italian but there is a short summary for the use of each bottle. Apparently they are well know for their ice cream. The freezer was almost empty! Make time to visit while you are exploring the property. Note: WC available at the left of the entrance to the cemetery.