The Last Resting Place of Elizabeth Barrett Browning : Florence’s English Cemetery

The English Cemetery

As a postscript to the previous post about the Casa Guidi I’m recording here my visit to pay my respects to Elizabeth Barrett Browning at The English Cemetery, Piazzale Donatello, Florence.

Arriving at the cemetery

the main path

The cemetery is, in fact, Swiss owned and lies on an island in the middle of a very busy road the Via Antonio Gramsci. The curator is an Anglican nun Julia Bolton Holloway. Upon arrival she invited me into the library and explained about the cemetery and those interred within.

the english graves

I had studied the website and an English version of the guidebook “The Protestant Cemetery of Florence, called <The English Cemetery>” so I had an idea of who else was buried here and where to find Mrs Browning’s sarcophagus.


Just behind EBB’s ¬†Sarcophagus is the grave of Fanny Holman Hunt, young wife of the artist William Holman Hunt

1st view of ebb's


Designed by Robert Browning and built by Luigi Giovannozzi

a h clough

Grave of poet Arthur Hugh Clough (1812-1861) author of Amours de Voyage


Poet Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864) was a friend of the Brownings

I strove with none; for none was worth my strife;
Nature I loved, and, next to Nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life;
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.
Dying Speech of an Old Philosopher

fanny trollope

Grave of Fanny Trollope, mother of author Anthony Trollope herself a prolific writer and traveller

aurora leigh quote


Back in 2005 I had cut out this article about the cemetery from the Independent newspaper. Luckily, the cemetery has been saved and a beautiful and peaceful English corner of Florence can still be visited today.


5 comments on “The Last Resting Place of Elizabeth Barrett Browning : Florence’s English Cemetery

  1. ravingreader says:

    How interesting that an English poet was buried in a Swiss cemetery in Italy and one of the plaques to honor her is from a small private rather religious university called Baylor in Texas. The world can be a small place, sometimes.

  2. Fran says:

    As soon as I started to read this I recalled the film Tea with Mussolini. What a wonderful cemetery to wander in, and so thankful it has been saved.

    • Well, Fran. I have that DVD and watched it many times but I don’t think I linked it with Florence. How unobservant of me. I did however borrow A Room With A View from the Library when I got home and enjoyed re-watching it (everyone so young!) and recognising some locations.

  3. […] the town so hailed the next bus back into Florence. At least this gave me the chance to visit the English Cemetery which is not far from San […]

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