The tale of the molto creepy cemetery

by Rebecca Bricker on November 18, 2011

St. Minias (with head)I followed the trail of St. Minias up the hill from the River Arno. According to religious lore, he was decapitated by Romans on the banks of the Arno in 250 A.D. and afterward managed to walk up the hill, carrying his head.

Frankly, I don’t know how it did it.  I could barely get up the hill with my head firmly screwed on.San Minato al Monte, Florence

St. Minias’ remains are entombed in a crypt beneath San Minato al Monte, often described as the most beautiful church in Florence, perched on a hilltop that has been regarded as sacred since pre-Roman times.


But behind the church is the creepiest cemetery I’ve EVER seen.

San Miniato cemetery, Florence

Check this out…mamma mia

The marble ghosts of a young Italian couple, who died in the mid-1940s, dancing on their own graves.San Miniato cemetery, Florence

(Those are high-rise crypts towering above them.)



The pathways wend past mausoleums modeled after temples and churches. There’s even one with onion domes.

San Miniato cemetery, FlorenceSan Minato cemetery, Florence









This is the cemetery where the author of Pinocchio is buried, but I never found his tombstone.

In the fading light of day, with a chilly November breeze rustling dead leaves at my feet, I turned a corner and saw this…

San Minato cemetery, Florence

A young girl reaching beyond the grave…

…for her dead sister? Or her dead self?

Holy Jiminy Cricket!

I ran for the nearest exit, hearing something snarl at my heels…

I didn’t look back, but if I had…I would have seen stone transform to BEAST…

San Minato cemetery, Florence







…and young lovers dancing in the lamplight.

San Minato cemetery, Florence




San Minato cemetery, Florence


Kathleen Pooler November 18, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Thank you for this wonderfully creepy tale,Rebecca! Love the richness of your details and pictures. Mostly I love learning about Italy through your eyes :-)

Rebecca Bricker November 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Kathy – I hustled out of there, with snarly beasts nipping at my heels – I swear! I shiver just thinking about it! 😉

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