Monday, April 21, 2008

An Italian Cemetery or Scenes from the Afterlife

My niece thinks that I am a little eccentric because of the way I like to know everything about anything that interests me. Now, I admit that I like to go to hardware stores in foreign countries to see what I might be missing in the way of tools or doorknobs, learn Italian so I can talk to the Italians and visit every museum that generally gets in my way, but this little bit of life was a surprise to me on our Chianti Country Tour from Siena. We stopped at a cemetery near the town of Valle d'Aglio or Garlic Valley. This is the town. Doesn't it looks lovely in the distance?
This is the local cemetery. Now, I don't generally put cemeteries on my travel itinerary, but, I found this particular cemetery very touching and sweet. And, I think our guide thought it was rather special, too.
The graves were mostly well and lovingly tended. Here is a butterfly bush that is bursting it's seems. Sorry, just slightly over exposed because of the crushed rock. I admired the plots and told our guide that in America, most cemeteries don't allow these types of monuments. The graves and tombstones must be flat, in order for the (riding) lawnmover to easily mow over them. Heh? He was incredulous! Whoever heard of grass in a cemetery!
And, here are the family crypts. There is a slight cultural difference about the way in which Americans and Italians handle the departed. In America, we don't usually relocate the dear departed into tombs after, well after, let's just say after awhile. (See Nikki in Positano for more information on that!)
A landscape of vases and arrangements.
I think this was my favorite grave of somebody's nonni with cyclamens and succulents.
So while, this was a rather odd aside to our wine tour, it turned out to be very interesting and somewhat pleasing overall to see the love bestowed on the deceased in the Italian afterlife. Not a bad final resting place!


Anonymous said...

Cremate me and cast me out to sea I say. Italian cemeterys are a waste of marble and pretty flowers!xx

homebody at heart said...

Hi Figs, everone is cetainly entitled to their own opinion! But would you include Michelangelo's Pietà made for a French cardinal's tomb or his Moses, made for Pope Julius II's tomb as wastes of marble?

Myself, I think people should be somewhere where they can be found. And, this looked pretty nice to me! I thought all that was missing was a table and some chairs for long conversations. But, thanks for stopping by!