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.