Little Villages that house the Dead ~ Romancing Italy
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Dec 2, 2009

Little Villages that house the Dead

The incredible cemeteries of Italy.

On more than one occasion I've driven past little villages, surrounded by their protective walls, and imposing iron gates. Depending on the moment, I've had thoughts of cold drinks, or steaming hot food placed in front of me; thoughts quickly dispelled as upon closer inspection, those little villages turn out to be ... cemeteries.
(Photo: Cemetery at Siderno Superiore)

Interestingly, the final resting place for Italians is not near or on the village church grounds, and many times not even near the town itself. There is a plot of land set aside for tombs and the like. My recent visit to the cemetery in Roccapietra took place around 5pm, which at this time of year, is right at dusk.

The Roccapietra cemetery stood out in the middle of nowhere, the quiet disturbed only by the screams from a game in progress drifting in spurts on the wind. That didn't bother me, but the last thing I wanted to hear as I stood alone in the failing light, was the muffled and insistent knocking coming from I don't know where!

That didn't deter me, I again visited another two villages of the dead.




This cliff-side promontory, and what I consider prime property, has been set aside to house Gerace's dead in southern Italy.




Caulonia's little villageLittle villages of the dead
Caulonia Cemetery These three are photos of the house like homes for the families of Caulonia, also in southern Italy. The only thing missing are street names.
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