Cimitero Monumentale

Entertainment & Arts

Europe, Italy, Milan

The Cimitero Monumentale in Milan, Italy is a very large cemetery, noted for its abundance of highly artistic and often imposing tombs. It was designed by the architect Carlo Maciachini (1818-1899). It was planned to consolidate a number of small cemeteries that used to be scattered around the city into a single location, at that time well removed from the thickly built central city area. It opened in 1866 and since then has been filled with a wide range of both contemporary and classical Italian sculptures as well as Greek temples, elaborate obelisks, and other original works such as a scaled-down version of Trajan's Column. Many of the tombs belong to noted industrialist dynasties, sometimes eponymous of world famous businesses and brands. The main entrance is through the large Famedio, a massive Hall-of-Fame-like Neo-Medieval style building of marble and stone that contains the tombs of some of the city's and the country's most honored citizens. In the Palanti Chapel is a monument commemorating the 800 Milanese citizens who were killed in Nazi concentration camps. The cemetery has a non-Catholic section and a Jewish section. Near the entrance is an exhibit of prints, photographs, and maps outlining its historical development. The exhibit includes two battery-operated electric hearses built in the 1920s.