Florence art guide

S.Maria Novella: the Cemetery of Plaona

View of the Cemetery


A suggestive garden, which was in actual fact used in the fourteenth century as a burial ground, the so-called Cemetery of Plaona, can be seen on the righthand side of the Basilica. It once contained as many as 80 tombs placed underneath the typical Gothic sepulchre arches: in fact they gave the name to the street, Via degli Avelli (tombs), that connects Piazza Santa Maria Novella with Piazza Stazione. Painter Domenico Bigordi, better known as Ghirlandaio, was buried in one of these tombs in 1494, the third from the facade; the arch above it once contained a life-size portrait of him. Portraits of all the Bigordi family can be seen in the frescoes in the Main Chapel.

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