“A hidden corner and unknown even to most of the Florentines themselves” is the Jewish Monumental Cemetery, established in 1777 outside the Porta San Frediano (Viale Ariosto n. 14), which remained in operation until 1870. Beforehand there were other cemeteries, but unfortunately nothing has remained of them. A high perimeter wall guards an important cultural treasure, consisting of funerary chapels and monuments. There are three monumental chapels on the main avenue. The first, of the Levi family, has a pyramid shape and in the style of Egyptians tombs, as is the second chapel, of the Servadio family, made in about 1875. The third chapel, of the Franchetti family, was probably planned by the architect Treves who also rearranged the little building at the entrance. Time-worn, but worth a visit to this enchanting place to discover remnants of the Jewish world. Unlike in other Jewish cemeteries, some of the graves are sculptures of high artistic value. Equally interesting are the funerary chapels neoegizio and neo-Renaissance style, like that of the Franchetti family. The same styles connote the oldest part of the cemetery at Rifredi (Via di Caciolle n. 13), designed by Marco Treves (one of the architects who designed the temple) between 1881 and 1884.
The mortuary chapel, recently restored, temple-shaped with a central plan in the Renaissance style with painted decorations inside.
Judaism does not allow for the exhumation of the bodies except in a few specific cases; generally there were multimple fields or “Campacci” in every city. When the graves covered the whole area, it is time to find new land, although the people and towns have often contradicted this law forcing people to move corpses and tombstones elsewhere.
Many other places that were once used as a cemetery have been identified. First, across the Arno, at the noise of ‘the Jews, he substituted a close second to the current Lungarno della Zecca, in turn disposed of to others, that they were created, in the Porta San Frediano. Here, in 1777, it was bought the plot, along the present Via Ariosto, to house the new field of Jews, which still exists, although no longer in use, which was joined in 1884 the cemetery Rifredi, designed by ‘architect Marco Treves. When this can no longer be used, it will be developed a new burial site in the San Silvestro (Cercina), whose outbuildings were designed by the architect Renzo Funaro.
The Jewish cemeteries on Via di Caciolle and Viale Ariosto are open every last Sunday of the month or by private appointment.
The Jewish cemetery is open on request. Contact: firenzebraica@
Located in Via di Caciolle 13, it is accessible by ATAF line 23, stops Del Prete and Panciatichi 01.
The Jewish cemetery on Viale Ariosto is open on the last Sunday of the month with a guided tour at 12.00. The meeting point is at the entrance gate. The tour lasts one hour.
Located in Viale Ariosto 16, is reached by the ATAF lines 6, 12, D, stop Soderini 03.
Viale Ludovico Ariosto, 16, 50124, Firenze
How to reach us:
1-minute walk from Porta San Frediano
15-minute walk from the train station SMN
Public transport lines: 6, 12, D, stop Soderini 03