What draws us to cemeteries? Is it an intrigue with the end, or maybe the art and sentiment they convey? Unlike the austere gravestones in my homeland, places like Staglieno celebrate life's passing with beautiful sculptures. I hope when my time comes, I'd have something as artistic. In oter words, a simple stone won't do.
In Genoa, the Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno stands out, even outshining the famed Père Lachaise in Paris. Since 1832, with the burial ban inside churches and in churchyards, new land had to be dedicated to lay the departed to rest. And in a city as prosperous as Genoa, designing such a place was a significant task.
The visionary Carlo Barabino, who also designed the acclaimed Teatro Carlo Felice, unfortunately, couldn't see his masterpiece come to life in 1851. The devastating cholera of 1835 claimed him. His protégé, Giovanni Battista Resasco, took on the project, introducing the iconic Pantheon in 1840. This design later inspired many European cemeteries, including the Père Lachaise in Paris.
If you're in the area, don't miss Staglieno's "100 Women" section, a true testament to the art of that period. It portrays women from all walks of life, capturing the spirit of the 19th and 20th centuries.
I hope these photos do justice to Staglieno's beauty. Understandably, the cemetery has photography rules. The images I've shared are courtesy of the Municipality of Genoa and the Staglieno website. A visit to this open-air museum is a must. The experience is unparalleled.