Alessandra Gardin

Florence tourist guide

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The British War Cemetery


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The Florence War Cemetery was built at the end of the Second World War to bury soldiers, sailors and aviators of the British Commonwealth Army, fallen in the Italian Liberation Campaign between the 8th of September 1943 and the 25th of April 1945.The Italian State gave this place as a perpetual grant to commemorate those who lost their lives for our liberty. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is still in charge of its keeping and care. The cemetery, designed by the British architect Louis de Soissons, is located along the Statal street Tosco-Romagnola, in a place called Il Girone, which is under the municipality of Fiesole. Being under the level of the street, the cemetery it is reachable through a monumental double fligth staircase covered by travertino and yellow limestone, which hosts inside a little tabernacle with the list of names and the map of their location.
Here lie 1637 ( plus 18 unknown) fallen belonging to the 8th Commonwealth Army, the first who entered Florence on August 1944. On the simmetrical axis of the entrance, on a large octagonal base, there is a large cross of white marble and two arches, covered with yellow limestone.It is a very evocative place, kept as a garden:a very tidy lawn with some olive trees and a magnificent red oak. On the sides, as flower border, bushes of flowers of different heights, colours and kinds, according to the best tradition of English gardening. Even the furrows, where the white marble tombstones align, each of them with the symbol of the Division, are full of colorfull flowers, green spikes and bushes, in a designed mess. Choose to visit this place with your licensed tourist guide of Florence.