The three cloisters of the Convent of the Church of San Francesco (Saint Francis) were recently restored and are part of the IMT University campus. They are open to the public. The entrance is on the left hand side of the church.
Along the walls of the cloisters are many 19th-century tombstones of the upper middle class of Lucca. It is interesting to read the epitaphs engraved on the stones commemorating those buried.
Many of the deceased were in their twenties and many others were children. After the twentieth stone, there is a very particular inscription. Those that battle for gender equality will either be filled with indignation or have a good chuckle.
AGNESE RAGGHIANTI BORN LUCCHESI TO HER MOST BELOVED SISTER ADELE SHE POSSESSED ALL THE BEST MORAL QUALITIES AND WAS MORE INTELLIGENT THAN OTHERS OF HER GENDER PASSED IN HER TWENTY-FOURTH YEAR THE EIGHTH OF OCTOBER MDCCCLV
A symbolic tombstone, typical of those times.
It brings to mind the suffragette mother of the two children in Mary Poppins but more importantly, the many stories of courageous men and women, proud of the way they are, that have battled the world over for freedom of expression and equal rights of gender, caste or social class.
More from Eleven Unusual Things to See in Lucca:
The Last Supper by Tintoretto in the Cathedral of San Martino
The exterior graffiti on the Church of San Michele
A curious story regarding the tomb of the merchant Tignosini
The replica of the Holy House of Our Lady of Loreto in the Church of Santa Maria Nera