The following map illustrates  the position of the three main historical cemeteries in Livorno used for the research: the two English burial grounds (old and new) and the Dutch-German cemetery. The Old English cemetery is probably the oldest in Italy and you can clearly see on the map that it was very close to the city center; when Livorno began to grow outside of the ancient walls, in 1838, this burial ground was closed and the new one was opened just outside of the new walls, North-East of the center, close-by to other cemeteries. Livorno has actually many other cemeteries including a very important Jewish cemetery.

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Livorno's three main foreign cemeteries (Google Maps customized by quikmaps.com)

Incredibly enough, these historical burying grounds are not owned by the municipality, so there’s no opening-closing time… To visit the Old English cemetery you need to make a reservation and get the key from the “Misericordia”, charged by the English Consulate at Florence which is the formal owner. Similar situation for the New English cemetery for which you need to make an appointment with the guardian who lives inside it. Be careful as this one is very much covered by dense vegetation and many areas are not accessible (UPDATE: a cleaning was performed in July-August 2010) . As to the last one, the Dutch-German cemetery, there’s a guardian living there with the family, of course you need to call in advance and if you are able to visit it you will see that part of it really looks like the guardian’s country house with tools lying all over, hanged wet clothes drying in the middle of graves, cat food, toys, plastic bags… It seems that recently a restoration process was started for the oldest dutch gravestones which were actually used as a walking path, completely exposed to dirt, rain and… shoes. All three cemeteries share the same bad condition, with lots of broken gravestones left all around, lots of not-anymore-readable inscriptions and no real maintenance project.

I hope my project can stimulate some attention  by telling others the story of the people buried there and the importance of preserving this significant witness of the great past of Livorno when it was considered among  the three most important harbours in the Mediterranean. Consul Montgomery Carmichael was already complaining about the degradation of the Old English Burial Ground in 1906 !

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