Tuesday, April 11, 2017

VERONA 2017: The Cemetery

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.

Don't you wonder?

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.  


  1. I just can't visit anywhere without a trip to the cemetery! And I love that you two love that experience as much as I do! I think it's one of the most fascinating places to understand the culture of the area. On a personal note...When I was in Virginia to be with my mom, I visited the cemetery to check in on my dad as it was the three year anniversary of his passing. Last year from my trip to Oregon I found the most beautiful heart shaped rock and I put it on his grave marker. This visit it was gone. I hope whoever took it will be possessed with demons forever.

    1. It's so interesting that you mentioned the heart-shaped stone you put on your dad's grave marker, Robin. Years ago, after dad passed in Michigan (exactly 22 years ago today, Wednesday, the Wednesday before Easter!), I put a bell from my nephew's wedding on his tombstone. Every year for years afterwards it was still there. But I'd be shocked if it was still there now. I can imagine the disappointment (anger!) about having yours gone. What's wrong with people????

      Anyway, we DO share the fascination of cemeteries, especially from different countries and cultures from our own.

  2. The lion sculptures remind of the ones at Chatsworth:


    I failed miserably in my internet search to find the artists of the Verona lions. So the jury is out as to whether they are by the same artist.

    1. WOW, Cherry. Wouldn't that be something if it IS the same artist!!! It's a small world after all.

  3. Fascinating! Who knew cemeteries could be so diverse?

    Beautifull post, Ginnie.

    1. Thank you, Marie. Once Astrid and I started visiting cemeteries on our travels, we have always made a point to keep doing so because they are as good as museums for us. You really do learn so much.

  4. Hi Ginnie. I have difficulty commenting on the photos of cemeteries which are places where I try to go the least possible, most safe when I have to but I looked at all your series and admired some beautiful graves. Have a good day!

    1. I can imagine, Marie, that cemeteries are not for everyone! My experience with death and dying is surely much different from that of others, so I honor the place this has or doesn't have in your own life/heart. But thank you for your honesty and for looking anyway.

  5. my favourite this time was the lions... the sad lion touched my heart... the mausoleums reminded me of tiny house living, until i saw the scale with Astrid! not so tiny, so maybe they didn't get the memo! but i want a tiny house to LIVE in, not to be dead in! thank you for the tour, as usual :)

    1. I think a lot o people would be quite happy to have one of those mausoleums to LIVE in, Elaine. Good point. It did seem like a park, showing off whose was bigger/better! Weird.

  6. The scale of the cemetery is really something, and the mausoleums!

    1. As cemeteries go, Ruth, this is not considered one of the "best," but it sure gave us much to see. Like churches, Astrid and I have discovered THIS is how we prefer to see "museums."

  7. What an amazing cemetery that was. So outstretched, so much to see. So different from other cemeteries. Those tall tombs were mind blowing, some so modern and that must cost a fortune. Family is important, so much wonderful sculptures some that told a story, very educational. It might not hurt to get some of the sculptures cleaned, so much dirt because of the drafts.

    1. I read from someone that it's not easy to find a grave you're looking for and that in this regard, it's not a well-planned-out cemetery. But since we weren't looking for anyone in particular, it was a perfect place to just roam around and be amazed at what we saw. Thank you, Astrid, for sharing the joy.