On our third day in Genoa, we took a drive out of the city for much of the day. The first destination was the Serravalle Designer Outlet Mall, about an hour north of Genoa, so that Bev could scratch her shopping itch!
Once the ‘necessary’ purchases had been made, we headed back towards Genoa with a stop at the Monumental Cemetery of Steglieno, once described by Ernest Hemingway as “One of the wonders of the World.” It has often been called an open air museum due to the concentration of works by great artists and architects who worked to build the eternal resting places of Genoese and foreigners alike (Cemetery brochure). Thanks to my friend Joe for telling me about the place.
In 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte had issued an edict forbidding the burial of bodies inside city walls, churches and parish cemeteries for public health reasons. Subsequently, in 1832, King Carlos Alberto issued a decree that initiated the idea to build the monumental cemetery outside the city. The cemetery was finally opened to the public in 1851, although work on the cemetery was not completed until 1881.
The large cemetery covers over one square kilometre and is said to be one of the largest cemeteries in Europe. Unfortunately, it was after 4.00pm when we arrived and the gates close at 5.00pm. This meant that we could only see a small section of the cemetery. Also, being in the afternoon, the mosquitoes were out in large numbers so we couldn’t stand still without them landing on us ready to bite! It was a case of keep moving and take photos quickly along the way. I wish we’d had more time to visit so that we could have explored more of the cemetery. Additional information can be obtained from the cemetery brochure using this link
Here are some of the photos that I was able to take in the short time we were there. The sculptures are all covered in a layer of dirt, which is evident in the photos.
Tomorrow we will leave Italy and drive to the village of Eze, on the south coast of France, where we’ll stay for a whole week. That will be the first time since March that I will have been in the same place for seven straight days!