The Ruspoli Chapel at the Porte Sante Cemetery in Florence. Material and diagnostic survey for conservation

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Anna Livia Ciuffreda
Elena Juarez Alonso
Petronilla Patti
Sara Soldaini


Porte Sante is one of the monumental cemetery in Florence, located within the fortified bastion of the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte.
In the 1840s the town council decided to find a large area near Florence, to use as a cemetery. It was chosen the Fortress of San Miniato for the solemnity of the place.
The first project was entrusted to Niccolò Matas in 1844 and in the 1860s the architect Mariano Falcini designed a new project using the area of the sixteenth-century fortress that stretched around the church.

The Porte Sante cemetery surprised visitors with its comingling of styles: it was important to appear, to show the dignity of their own social class. This eclectic mix reveals interesting monuments for the style, for materials and construction methods.
One of this examples is the Ruspoli chapel, designed in 1891 by Giovanni Paciarelli, architect sensitive to modernism and designer of Paggi Palace in Florence.
The chapel, commissioned by Valsè-Pontellini family, stands out in the landscape for the precious texture of exotic carvings and inlays of polychrome marble, mosaics and historiated glass. Today it is in bad state of conservation.

Today it is in bad state of conservation.

The recovery of the chapel must provide for a careful restoration project whose foundation is the comprehensive knowledge of good, which can be achieved through the survey operations, the historical analysis and diagnostic investigations.
The use of a photogrammetry software allowed us to obtain a virtual 3D model, which forms the basis for subsequent analyzes and evaluations on the state of conservation of the building.
Such study will be applied to other artifacts in the cemetery, by implementing current and future studies on the whole complex of the Porte Sante.


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How to Cite
Ciuffreda, A. L., Juarez Alonso, E., Patti, P., & Soldaini, S. (2017). The Ruspoli Chapel at the Porte Sante Cemetery in Florence. Material and diagnostic survey for conservation. Studies in Digital Heritage, 1(2), 671–681.
Special Issue "Cultural Heritage and New Technologies 2016"
Author Biographies

Anna Livia Ciuffreda, University of Florence

Anna Livia Ciuffreda is an architect, currently attending the School of Specialization in Architectural Heritage and Landscape in Florence, where she graduated in 2013 with a thesis on the consolidation of the historic buildings.

Currently carries out work activities / research on restoration issues, structural restoration and conservation of historic buildings.

Elena Juarez Alonso

Elena Juárez Alonso was born in Granada (Spain) but currently she lives in Florence (Italy). She has a higher degree in Architecture from the Higher Technical School of Architecture of the University of Granada and is a post-graduate student at the School of Specialization in Architectonic and Landscape Heritage of the University of Florence.

Petronilla Patti

Petronilla Patti was born in Leonforte (En) in 1986, but now she lives in Florence. She obtains degree in architecture in 2013 at the University  of Architecture in Florence with the thesis in industrial archeology. She done an internship at the “Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e per il Paesaggio” (Commission for the Architectural and Landscape Heritage) of Florence and L’Aquila. Actually, she collaborates with engineering and architecture company in Florence and she attending at the Specialization School in Architectonic and Landscape Heritage in Florence University.

Sara Soldaini

Sara Soldaini was born in Lucca in 1988, but she currently lives in Cerreto Guidi (Firenze). She obteins master’s degree in architecture in 2013 at Florence University with a tesi about conservation and recovery of historic built. Now she is achieving a specialization’s degree at the Specialization School in Architectonic and Landscape Heritage of Florence.


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