The big challenge after every trip like this is where to start! Usually it makes sense to start at the beginning and walk through the trip as it happened. But this time, in the context of Holy Week, I find it appropriate to start at the end of our Venice/Verona trip with the cemetery. Besides, it's also fresh in my mind.
Verona is a city on the Adige river in the Veneto region of Italy.
Our B&B was just outside the walls of the inner city, with foundations going back to Roman times.
In the far-off distance we could see the alps (top-right), known as the Dolomites.
We crossed the Aleardi bridge and looked back at the Navi bridge on our way to the cemetery.
The circled spot in red is the cemetery.
At the entrance to the cemetery are two lions: a Tear and a Smile.
So appropriate for a cemetery, we both thought.
Because the sun wasn't shining on the entrance side (middle-left and center) then,
it wasn't until we went through the colonnades that we saw the expanse of the place in sunlight.
And I mean through the colonnades!
Even there, in the broad spaces, were grave stones out on the open floor.
That's where we saw what I'm calling Family Trees.
Have you seen anything like it in a cemetery?
Look at how creative they are, up close and personal.
With 8 kids in my family of origin, I can just imagine the Hart Family Tree!
Many of the grave sites had cameo portraits displayed in one way or another.
While still inside, walking downstairs and along the corridors, we saw the wall tombs.
A nearby chapel was bright and accommodating.
Roman Catholics don't cremate their dead, so the stone plaques fronted coffins along the wall.
The boy (top-left) barely reached his 5th birthday; the girl (bottom-right) reached her 1st.
Once outside, there were plots for the nuns and the soldiers...and the children.
But it was the section of the tombs/mausoleums that took our breath away.
Who needs a family tree when you can have a house/castle, right?!
(Notice the scale with Astrid in the top-left image.)
They say you can't take it with you, but...did they get the memo?
It was like a mini-town, walking around and finding our way.
If you couldn't afford a mausoleum, maybe you could afford a large statue?
I'm sure each one has its own story.
Those protected inside or along the colonnade were covered in years of dirt/dust.
We wondered if cleaning them was futile because of exposure to the winds of time?
So many lives. So many stories.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
As we walked back to our B&B, we ate the "last supper" out of our Venice/Verona trip,
reminding us again of how much we learn about a people and culture by their cemeteries...
and their food!
It's a reminder, while we are alive, to EAT PRAY LOVE.