Situated immediately outside the city walls, beside Piazza dei Miracoli, by the ancient Porta del Leone, the Jewish Cemetery has been the burial place of Israelites since 1674. Its monuments, in a variety of styles ranging from the classical trapezoid to Empire, Neo-gothic and Liberty are of particular interest, as are the 17th century tombstones, transferred here from the previous burial ground, and for the different places where the people buried here came from.
The origins of the people buried here is a clear indication of how mixed the Jewish population has been over the centuries and is also evidence of how many foreigners chose to be buried in the Pisan cemetery because of its beauty.
But, where are the Jewish tombs from the period before 1674? Reports and public and private documents demonstrate that since the 13th century, there have been at least four, if not five Hebrew cemeteries in the area between Porta Nuova and the Citadel. 13th century funeral inscriptions are still visible carved in the city walls on both sides of Porta Nuova, and we know that until the second half of the 16th century, there were burial grounds on land belonging to the important da Pisa family, bought expressly for this purpose. In 1618, when the da Pisa were no longer present in the city, a new cemetery was created, thanks to the “Livornina” laws, but because the Grand Duke Ferdinand II decided to build a pheasant farm in its place, it was soon suppressed and the present graveyard took shape on land that the Grand Duke had donated in exchange.