On Saturday 8th September there was a small ceremony to celebrate the restoration of the Anglican cemetery in Bagni di Lucca.
The cemetery was opened in 1842. Henry and Elizabeth Stisted obtained permission from Carlo Lodovico, Prince of Lucca, to build an Anglican church and a Cemetery of Anglican rite for the British community living in Bagni di Lucca at the time.
There are 139 people buried in the cemetery. Appropriately, Henry and Elizabeth Stisted have their final resting place there. Evangelina Whipple settled in Bagni di Lucca in 1912 and worked to help the families of refugees and was called to the front in WWI. She wrote a book about Bagni di Lucca…A famous corner of Tuscany. She died in London, but wanted to be buried next to her friends in her adopted home.
There are several other well known names buried in the cemetery, including Rose Cleveland, the sister of US President Stephen Grover Cleveland and Ouida, a famous novelist.
Quite a large crowd gathered for the celebration, many of whom had never been to the cemetery before. Work has begun on the resoration. Rows of cypress trees have been planted to replace the original plantings. The grass has been cut and the overgrowth removed and some of the tombstones have been cleaned.
Visitors sign a book to commemorate the opening.
Local historian Dottore Cherubini and our mayor Dottore Betti spoke at length on the importance of the cemetery and the need for the restoration to be completed.
A large crowd attended the celebration.
Some of the sites have been cleaned….but there are many more in need of restoration.
Henry Stisted’s grave.
The grave of Louise de La Ramee, known as Ouida. Her tomb was made by sculptor Luigi Lucchese Norfini.
I actually liked the graves as they were, but I do understand that some would deteriorate without restoration. I think it is wonderful that people care enough about Bagni di Lucca’s history to take care of it in this way.
I did a post last year about the cemetery last year on Bagni di Lucca and Beyond. Click here to see the cemetery before the restoration had begun.