Architecture of Mortality

The Verano municipal cemetery, near the San Lorenzo Basilica Fuori le Mura (outside the city walls) in Rome, is on a plot that originally belonged to the Verano family. The largest cemetery in the city, the first building was done in 1811 and in 1859 it was replanned by Virginio Vespignani, who designed its central campo, gateway, quadriportico (with its solemn busts and ornate monuments) and chapel. Today the cemetery, which is still operating, is a small city of incredibly designed funerary art and architecture, crypts and headstones planted on a grand maze of intersecting alleys and walkways. Each monument, some made of exact stone portraits of those who died, are all radically different from one another. Each is signed by its respective designer — out of mortality comes a certain immortality.

Prominent Italian personalities are buried in the cemetery, notably actor Vittorio Gassman and writer Alberto Moravia.

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