Monumental Rest

Some of the most famous Italians rest here, at Milan’s Cimitero Monumentale. It’s enormous, very much like a huge park in which the paths are lined by big mausoleums and ornate monuments.

The most renowned deceased lie in the Hall of Fame which – together with two galleries -marks the entrance to the cemetery. We spent a few hours walking around and I spotted many familiar last names engraved on tombstones or memorial signs. I also found the silence remarkable. Even though the cemetery is located in the city, adjacent to a few big and busy roads, it was very quiet. At some point, I encountered a black cat scurrying between the graves. It may sound creepy, but it wasn’t. I rather liked it, a quirky sign of life amidst the gloomy grey stones. We also went to see the Jewish section of the cemetery. I thought it was more artistically diverse and I also really like the Jewish tradition of putting stones on graves they visited. This sculpture, holding a fresh flower in its hand, especially caught my eye.

On our way out, we passed through the galleries where a large part of the urns are being kept. The walls were plastered in memorial tiles, most with fresh flowers and some even with photographs. When we finally left, the sun was about to set.


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