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Call me crazy, but I just love Italian cemeteries....

Call me crazy, but I just love Italian cemeteries....

Feb 7th, 2001, 07:36 PM
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Call me crazy, but I just love Italian cemeteries....

No, I don't seek them out, but they're always next to some wonderful church and I'm drawn in.... I remember in Palermo on a windy November day, one interesting monument was a bust of a man assassinated by the Mafia; on the road to Taormina one cimitero grew huge beautiful old roses everywhere - the canes must be decades old, and lovingly tended; and on the hill above Florence the life-sized bride and groom really touched my heart. I love the photographs, the Angels and the armloads of fresh flowers. And when I saw the "candles" twinkling in the valley below my hotel room in Cortona, I thought how comforting it must be for the departed souls to have their little night lights.
Anyone else....?
Feb 8th, 2001, 05:04 AM
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Me too! My grandfather came from a small village outside of Taormina and I had the opportunity to take a tour of his village's cemetary. It was fascinating.
Feb 8th, 2001, 05:19 AM
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Count me in ! I have tons of pics from various cemeteries all over Italy. The best was on the west side of Mt. Etna this past April--in the middle of nowhere---and we could not believe the opulence. They spend money on family.
Feb 8th, 2001, 05:36 AM
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I haven't seen the cemetaries in Italy yet, but I have tons of picture of the old ones in Ireland. I love the old Celtic crosses. ( I actually picked one, took a picture and I'm insisting on one just like it!) There's also a beautiful one in Heidelberg. It's built on a hill and is amzaing to walk though. There, too, the plots are well tended and very pretty.
Feb 8th, 2001, 05:38 AM
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Did you know that burial is not "forever" there? After a period of time (varies by place -- heard it's just a few yrs in Naples, but can be many years in a little town in Sicily), or if there seems to be no remaining family, the markers are removed and the bones are dug up and deposited in a hole with those of other long-dead people. There's a little metal cap on the hole, and anyone can remove it, throw in flowers, etc. This communal burial hole is anonymous.
P.S. Does anyone know whether it's possible to pay to get an "extension" on the time a grave will be kept marked and undisturbed?
Feb 8th, 2001, 05:45 AM
Beth Anderson
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As morbid as this sounds, I like cemeteries in general. Very peaceful and beautiful. Highgate in London, Pere Lachaise in Paris, the American Cemetery in Normandy... the list goes on. didn't make it to San Michele this time, but sooner or later...

to CMT: I recently read that, in the case of Venice, you can 'pay extra'... don't know if that is still the case though.
Feb 8th, 2001, 06:40 AM
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I was recently told that Genoa has a fantastic cemetery. Has anyone seen it? I will be in the vicinity in April and would like to learn something about it before I go.
I'm a cemetery fan in the US, the older and more treed, the better. They are very peaceful and beautiful and sometimes historic. My first such was in Cambridge, MA, the Mount Auburn (I believe that's the name) Cemetery. No disrespect, but it's better than a park.
Feb 8th, 2001, 06:50 AM
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I also admit I love cemeteries. I have more pictures of Pere Lachaise than of the Eiffel Tower...more pictures of La Recoleta than of the Teatro Colon...and I was in awe over the Jewish cemetary in Prague. I also loved the little cemetaries that we encountered in southern Spain and in Mexico.

Can anyone suggest good cemetaries in Northern Italy?
Feb 8th, 2001, 06:55 AM
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You're not crazy. The history to be found in cemeteries is fascinating, and the ways in which different cultures honor the memories of their loved ones is sometimes inspirational. Mt. Auburn Cemetery, mentioned above, in Cambridge, MA, is also a magnificent park and collection of unusual and beautifully situated plants and trees. I believe it's on the historical register of sites.
Feb 8th, 2001, 09:25 AM
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A thread near and dear to my heart (someday, over my heart)...let's see: Key West cemetery (graves are all above ground); Boot Hill Cemetery in Dodge City (before it got covered by an office building); King's Chapel Burying Ground in Boston (Gov. John Winthrop is buried there); the cemetery in Elne, France (beautiful wrought iron); the cemetery just outside the main gate of Carcassone (wrought iron and ceramic flowers); cemeteries in Paris - Pere Lachaise, Montparnasse, Montmartre, Picpus, Batignolles; Russian Orthodox cemetery in Ste Genevieve des Bois, where Nureyev is buried ('headstone' has to be seen to be believed), also Max Gorky; cemetery just south of the Brenta Canal from Malcontenta (white stone everywhere). Reports from others: cemetery in New Orleans is supposed to be quite remarkable.
Feb 8th, 2001, 09:43 AM
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For those who are interested, I read that there is a newly re-opened old Jewish cemetery on the Lido which offers guided tours. The oldest grave dates to the 14th century. Guided tours are offered every Sunday; Tours start at 2:30pm. For information, and to confirm the schedule, call the Jewish Museum of Venice at 39 041 715359. The cemetery is near Piazza Santa Maria Elisabetta on the Lido. The No.1 Vaporetto and the No. 14 motonave (a larger boat) leave from San Zaccaria, near San Marco, to go to the Lido, as do other lines that leave from San Marco. From the stop on the Lido it is a 10-15 minute walk to the cemetery.
The other major cemetery of Venice which I hope to get to is on the island of San Michele, vaporetto line #5. There is a Renaissance-era church (1469) whose cloister leads to the cemetery which is open daily, although I believe it closes around 4pm. Among the tombs are those of Ezra Pound, Igor Stravinsky, and Sergei Diaghilev.
Feb 8th, 2001, 12:02 PM
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to the top for sara
Feb 8th, 2001, 04:06 PM
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glad i could return something to you. if you are in genoa the main cemeterie is outstanding. over many acres and full of huge structures you will not bilieve untill you see it luck
Feb 8th, 2001, 05:48 PM
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Elaine, thanks for the tip on the Lido cemetary!
Feb 8th, 2001, 06:09 PM
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Thanks to all - so glad I'm not alone in this!
Elaine: your info is so timely - I'll be back in Venice in April...

Mariarosa: there is a beautiful cemetery in the churchyard on the hill above Portofino. It's a long climb up, but the pay-off view of the harbor is spectacular. As you walk in the cemetery, on the right is a life-sized statue of a grieving woman that took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes.

I also loved a cemetery in Salzburg at Christmastime - decorated trees and wreaths behind fancy ironwork railings. So sweet and so festive!
Feb 8th, 2001, 07:45 PM
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If you go to Cambridge, England, make sure to visit the American Cemetery just outside of town (the Green buses run there--so it's easy to visit). It's almost as moving as the Cemeteries in Normandy--all those young men lost in WWII--all those "known only to God." I also love the cemeteries in Florence, Italy (esp. the ones with the crypt burials in the walls with pictures and flowers). I hope these are permanent (I just assumed they were) and no one goes around emptying them out every so often.
Feb 9th, 2001, 10:29 AM
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Try this site for finding particular graves. www.findagrave.com/ Regards, Walter
Feb 9th, 2001, 12:00 PM
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Count me in.

Yes, the San Michele cemetery is very interesting as is the Jewish cemetery in
Venice. If you're going to Venice, they are both worth the trip. Lots of history there.

This topic comes up frequently on the USA board for L.A. visitors. We have some very ornate ones out here.( Very interesting one in Honolulu, too. Gives you a good look at the missionary past of the island).

Does anyone out there read the obituaries?(OK, not a travel question).
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