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Thread: Pinpointing tombs at the Cimitero delle Porte Sante

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Default Pinpointing tombs at the Cimitero delle Porte Sante

    Somebody have the GPS coordinates of the following tombs at the Cimitero delle Porte Sante (near the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte) ?
    Mausoleum of Carlo Lorenzini/Collodi, the Vespucci family, and Bruno Benedetto Rossi.
    The cemetery is visible in Google Earth/Maps with decent resolution. I want to pinpoint these graves to save time looking for them when I'm there in October 2013.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Are these in front of the church? There aren't that many there, so I shouldn't take you long to find them. The cemetery there isn't very big. It would probably take longer to pinpoint the GPS coordinates than just use your eyes and walk around.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Florence, Italy
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    Ciao!

    Actually, the cemetery runs all the way to the side and to the back of the church and is quite big!

    I've been to the full cemetery just once, and you've given me a good idea of an itinerary: map out where the tombs people should find interesting to visit.

    If I remember correctly, Carlo Lorenzini/Collodi is in the first section as you enter to the side of the church (with the church on your right) but I don't remember the location of the Vespucci family's mausoleum.... mostly because there ARE many interesting tombs inside, with many sculptures and what ended up happening for me was that I spent a good 2-2.5 hours there, just wandering around. I am sure if you don't want to spend that much time you could also just at the entrance of the cemetery for help, they might surprise you and show you where they are. When exactly will you be in Florence?
    If I can, I'll try to plan an outing out there soon!
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  4. #4
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    Sep 2013
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    Default Cemetery visit

    Quote Originally Posted by Lourdes View Post
    When exactly will you be in Florence?
    October 15-23.
    My plan is to visit the Cimitero delle Porte Sante October 18.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2008
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    My DH is the one handy with a GPS and doing waypoints so I'll see if we can go out this weekend to the cemetery and have some fun finding the tombs. That way we can share with you and others, just letting it be a starting point for your visit since I think you'll end up spending there more time than you think!
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  6. #6
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    Jul 2008
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    Ciao!

    So we went up to the cemetery yesterday morning, unfortunately got there with only 20 minutes before closing (don't worry, just Sundays closing time is at 1pm instead of 6pm).
    There was no one in the office as we passed in so went on our own looking for the tombs... without much success, there are too many and 20 minutes weren't enough

    As we were leaving, we asked about the tombs and were told there is a map in the office, so definitely stop and ask! We did find the Lorenzini mausoleum with glass doors along the back wall, sort of in the middle of the cemetery but it was locked with chains and you couldn't see inside because of a curtain so I was curious to ask about it in particular. We were told that was it, that the family has decided that they really don't want anyone to know about it and have asked for all references to be taken off the map in the office and put the curtain up on purpose. So unfortunately there isn't much to see for that one.

    As far as the Vespucci family goes.... we weren't able to find anything and didn't get a chance to ask for more details... but I am not sure they are up there, at least not the old branch, the cemetery is relatively new from the 1700s. Noble families with money got buried inside the churches - the closer to the altar the better to show your proximity to God and heaven. The Vespucci family lived in the Ognissanti area, they have their chapel in the Church of Ognissanti. I am thinking Amerigo might be buried there - it would be an interesting thing to find out!
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  7. #7
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    Sep 2013
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    Default Feedback Porte Sante cemetery

    I went there as planned on October 18... to find out it was closed due to a strike (sciopero in Italian).
    Tried again next day with more luck.
    The old map at the cemetery entry point shows the Lorenzini mausoleum, which, as you noticed too, is not worth bothering anymore - it's the only one in a row of identical mausoleums where you can't see anything inside as it has been curtained off.
    The only spot at the cemetery I could pinpoint precisely from information on the Web before I went there was the big mausoleum allegedly done in pre-columbian style for the Fenci family (1906) : the lazy lions in front are very interesting. This is not 'pre-columbian style' as descriptions of people on the Web claim it to be, but simply Art Deco (or Art Nouveau) style.
    A modern statue of a heavily-deformed Christ figure for Alpo Carlo Benelli cannot be overlooked.
    And the nameless young couple standing on their tomb was obviously easy to spot.
    The most bizarre discovery I made was the tomb of a one-year old child (Maria Elisabetta Giustini, 1955-1956) for which some anonymous artist made a strange-looking sculpture of the wrapped child... with a large octopus stuck onto her body, which I nicknamed Octopussy. I wonder why!
    Another weird-looking place around an open courtyard was a covered multistory (stacked) block of identical tombs - for caskets, not a columbarium - with many identical little lights still burning. There was a specially-made mobile ladder to reach (for the graveyard workers) the upper levels.
    And finally, the pretentious-looking tomb for Italian politician Giovanni Spadolini was also easy to see - there's a small Italian flag in the grass standing besides it.
    I wasn't expecting to find the grave of cosmic rays pioneer physicist and Manhattan Project participant Bruno Benedetto Rossi (this one isn't even in the Wikipedia tomb list), and I didn't.
    Nor did I find the 19th century mausoleum for the Vespucci family - the old chapel with Amerigo in it at the Ognissanti church was already on my wishlist anyway and was easy to find there.
    I bundled all of the aformentioned spots into a single KMZ file, valid for the current Google Earth imagery dated August 5, 2012 :
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52458256/Cemetery_of_the_Holy_Doors_%28Florence%29.kmz

    I hope someone finds this information useful.

  8. #8
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    Awesome report of the cemetery, much better than I ever could have done!

    I missed the octupussy one, will have to go looking for it next time we are up in the area ;-)

    Thank you very much for sharing the KMZ file, I am thinking it will be handy next time we are up there - and I'll see if I can find the 19th century mausoleum of the Vespucci family and Rossi's grave. Just very interesting to learn he is up there, I didn't!
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