History of the Non-Catholic Cemetery for Foreigners in Rome
According to the ecclesiastical laws of the Catholic Church, Protestants can be buried neither in Catholic churches nor in consecrated ground. Nevertheless, burial places for non-Catholics came into use comparatively early in some much-visited Italian harbour cities, such as Livorno (from 1598) and Venice (from 1684). There are also non-Catholic cemeteries in Florence and Bagni di Lucca.
The Cemetery for non-Catholics in Rome dates back to at least 1716 when records show that members of the Stuart Court in exile from England were allowed by Pope Clement XI to be buried in front of the Pyramid. Other non-Catholics, many of them young people on the Grand Tour, were also allowed to be buried here. The land then and now is adjacent to two ancient monuments – the Pyramid of Caius Cestius dating to approximately 12 B.C. and the Aurelian city wall – that form an impressive backdrop for the Cemetery.