Florence American Cemetery and Memorial

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The beautiful countryside of Tuscany thrills us today, but it was once a bloody battlefield where thousands upon thousands of young men lost their lives. If you drive between Florence and the Chianti, you will go right past the  Florence American Cemetery and Memorial site. A brief stop spent walking amongst the 70 acres of gently rising wooded hills will add another layer of Tuscan history to your trip. Between the two entrance buildings, a bridge leads to the burial area where the headstones of 4,402 of our military dead are arrayed in symmetrical curved rows upon the hillside. 1400 of these graves are dedicated to servicemen "who sleep in unknown graves." Altogether, the graves here represent 39 percent of the U.S. Fifth Army burials originally made between Rome and the Alps. Most died in the fighting that occurred after the capture of Rome in June 1944. Included among them are casualties of the heavy fighting in the Apennines shortly before the war's end. On May 2, 1945, the enemy troops in northern Italy surrendered.

Above the graves, on the topmost of three broad terraces, stands the memorial marked by a tall pylon surmounted by a large sculptured figure. The memorial has two open atria, or courts, joined by the Tablets of the Missing upon which are inscribed 1,409 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. The atrium at the south end of the Tablets of the Missing serves as a forecourt to the chapel, which is decorated with marble and mosaic. The north atrium contains the marble operations maps recording the achievements of the American armed forces in this region.

The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except December 25 and January 1. It is open on host country holidays. When the cemetery is open to the public, a staff member is on duty in the Visitor Building to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites. The American Battle Monuments Commission will also help you research your relative's grave. Click here to contact the American Battle Monuments Commission.

How to Get There

Florence American Cemetery is located on the west side of Via Cassia, about 7½ miles south of Florence. The Rome-Milan A1 autostrada passes near the cemetery; its Certosa-Florence exit is 2 miles to the north. There is excellent train service to Florence from the principal cities of Italy; it is also served by some of the international trains. The "SITA" bus station provides frequent bus service along Via Cassia and there is a bus stop conveniently located just outside the cemetery gate.

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