monumental cemetery

by Sirje

After a great night’s rest in Milan, I woke up bright and early to a stunningly blue sky and tons of nervous energy. With an audition that evening, I didn’t want to spend the entire day wearing myself out sightseeing, so I forced myself to sit around for a while and then decided to check out the unusual building I’d seen on the way home the night before.

Because I hadn’t planned to have a whole lot of free time this trip for my usual hard core touring around, I hadn’t done the usual mapping out of sights. I had no idea what this place was. This building had amazingly long walls, and a huge empty plaza in front. It was very still.

By the time I reached the gate, it was rather clear: cemetery.

It wasn’t the cheery Italian experience I was hoping for in that moment, but okay whatever. Maybe it’s interesting. So I went on in, covering up my bare shoulders with a pashmina I always carry with me because I have the metabolism of a hibernating milk snake.

My first view of the actual grounds has no accompanying photo. That is because as soon as I laid eyes on it, I was momentarily overcome by tears. Which I then found funny, and which consequently made me even more teary, etc. Very comical.

The cemetery was just so beautiful, I couldn’t believe it. I’d never seen anything like it, and I wish I were a better photographer to do it justice.

Every grave is a very individual work of art.

These were not the most beautiful ones I saw, but I felt a little weird taking photos of graves, so I waited until nobody was around to take a quick photo.

One of the most stunning aspects of the cemetery was the many, many life sized and larger than life sized sculptures of people, angels. And all done so beautifully that you could swear they will all start moving any second. It was very impressive.

One guy’s grave was the ENTIRE LIFE SIZE SCENE OF THE LAST SUPPER. The whole thing. One grave.

Without decent photos, it’s really difficult to communicate the scale of the place, and the boldness. There were glass buildings 2 stories high. Pyramids. Multiple towers and monuments 4 or 5 stories tall. Giant oxen. It was overwhelming.

Then there are crypts within the walls of the cemetery. Most of these dated to around 1910-1920 or so.

Is it creepy to take photos of crypts and put it on the internet? Now I have second thoughts. About when I started approaching this sculpture here I started hearing strange noises and decided okay that was quite enough of the cemetery viewing for today, thank you.

And here, heading back out to the street, in the main building, the ceiling was painted in this vibrant peacock blue that just glowed in the light from the many windows.