Campo Verano, Rome’s Beautiful Cemetery

It’s October, the month of Halloween, the eve of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. So I visited one of Rome’s cemeteries for inspiration. What I found there was more beautiful than macabre.

The Communal Monumental Cemetery of Campo Verano is one of Rome’s most important cemeteries.  It’s located in the Tiburtino area, next to the venerable, ancient Basilica of San Lorenzo Outside the Walls.

While there were ancient burials in the area, Campo Verano was not established until 1807.  Noted architect and urban planner Giuseppe Valadier designed it, and it feels like a tiny planned city.  The entrance is a monumental three-arched gate:

The entrance to Campo Verano

Inside, as you can see from the top photo, you stroll down little roads surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of monuments, many of which are artistic and eye-catching.

Closely-packed monuments, everywhere

 

Even more condensed burial niches

Some of the mausoleums are miniature architectural gems.

A Campo Verano road lined with mausoleums

 

Mausoleum with a lovely Baroque style facade

 

One of the more distinct mausoleums at Campo Verano

Several large arcades hold more monuments to the dead.

Monumental arcades (in the background) hold large monuments

 

Another shot of the arcade

 

In the arcade

 

This monument borrows heavily from the Renaissance

 

While this one is more Neoclassical

 

A particularly attractive and symbolic memorial

 

Another beautiful monument in the arcade

You will also find some moody statues and elegant carvings at Campo Verano, most looking up toward heaven.

A melancholy angel holding some flowers

 

Another angel, whose emotion captured me

 

A glorious statue at Campo Verano looking up toward heaven

 

An ornate carving, I believe those are pomegranates on her head

Campo Verano is a sprawling, fascinating, and beautiful locale.  It’s well worth a visit, especially if you’re in the Tiburtino area. A great deal can be learned here about Roman culture. This is also, quite frankly, a lovely, peaceful, and quiet place for a walk.

Visitors at Campo Verano, circa 1894

The most moving part of my visit, however, is in a later post.