A little off the beaten path in Florence is a chapel with a beautiful funerary monument designed by the Renaissance architect, Leon Battista Alberti.
To get there, the first thing you need to do is to find the Piazza di San Pancrazio:
Once in the piazza, you will find the entrance to the Cappella Santo Sepolcro, otherwise called both the Cappella Rucellai or Tempietto del Santo Sepolcro. You enter the chapel of the Holy Sepulcher, which is the only remaining consecrated part of the former church of San Pancrazio.
Inside the Capella is this fine funerary monument, designed by Alberti, which houses the remains of Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai.
Rucellai was a wealthy Florentine merchant who was great friends with Alberti. Alberti, the architect and theorist of the Renaissance, created several important works for Rucellai, including Rucellai’s family palazzo (Palazzo Rucellai, started in 1447), the completion of the facade of Santa Maria Novella (from 1456) and the Loggia Rucellai, completed in 1460.
The monument Alberti designed for Rucellai’s tomb was located in the church closest to the family palace, the church of San Pancrazio. Scholars generally believe that the monument was begun in 1457 and finished in 1467. Ruccellai would live until 1481.
The inlaid marble decoration on the panels of the tomb’s exterior are varied and fascination and refer to the activities of Rucellai. They also draw from the Florentine Romanesque tradition of inlaid marble design, such as those found on the Baptistery of San Giovanni, the church of San Miniato al Monte, and the Badia Fiesolana.
The style of the white and green inlaid marble panels is restrained, geometric, and highly elegant, with no two exactly alike. We recall that according to Alberti, geometry induced a worshipper to meditate on the mysteries of faith.
On each of the four exterior walls, an inlaid panel of a heraldic emblem appears, referring to the most important contemporary personalities of the time. For example, in one panel, a stylized sail appears unfurled in the wind, with loose shrouds–presumably those of Giovanni Rucellai.
Another heraldic panel uses the mazzocchio with 3 feathers (a type of male headwear worn in Western Europe during the Renaissance), which makes reference to Cosimo de Medici the Elder.
The 3rd panel design depicts a diamond ring with 2 feathers, apparently this was the symbol of Piero de Medici.
The final heraldic emblem reveals the symbol for Lorenzo il Magnifico, which is 3 intertwined rings.
Thanks to Wikipedia, we have a chart showing each of the inlaid panels. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempietto_del_Santo_Sepolcro