THE MONUMENTAL CEMETERY OF STAGLIENO IN GENOA
The Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno. Genoa surprised me in many ways. It’s a city rich in history and it still houses in its Palazzi dei Rolli its history and its glorious past you can see in the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno, where Genoa’s most illustrious personalities lie.
It may seem grim that I recommend a visit to a cemetery, but, maybe, this is one of the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve ever seen. A real open-air museum which had become famous for its wonderful white marbles by the 19th century.
In addition to their wonderful museums (the first one you must visit is the Spinola Palace), the Genoeses preserve their own traditions also in their historic shops, where a few centuries ago exactly on the same counters and below the same ceilings, Oscar Wilde’s wife was trying to forget her marriage, or young Giuseppe Mazzini was dreaming of the Unification of Italy.
In the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno you can find these personalities and an incalculable number of sculptures and artworks, but, above all, you can find stories.
Even though only a memory of the ancient white marbles remains, and a lot of artworks need to be restored, the charm of Staglieno survives intact.
First of all, you must know that you can’t visit the cemetery in only one day, but you have to follow an itinerary and make a guided tour, because you could run the risk of missing a lot of works of art.
A tour guide of the association gave me the tour of the cemetery, and you can find the contacts at the end of this post.
What to see at the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno
The central area is overlooked by the Pantheon, which is located on a monumental stairway, and from which you can enter the Galleries housing the most beautiful works of art of the cemetery, and also the very famous Monteverde Angel (or the Angel of the Resurrection) guarding the tomb of the Oneto family, which is in some way the symbol of the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno.
Around the central area of the cemetery which includes the Catholic cemetery, you can find the other sections: the Jewish cemetery, the Protestant section, the Boschetto irregolare (the irregular Woods), the Campo dei Mille and many more sections.
I chanced upon many illustrious and famous people, and I couldn’t imagine that some of them were buried in Genoa.
From Garibaldi’s soldiers to Constance Lloyd, Oscar Wilde’s wife, a lot of stories intertwine and bring to mind extraordinary lives.
But, maybe, the story which struck me the most was the story of Caterina Campodonico, a pauper nuts-seller who sold ring-shaped cakes and strings of walnut, and who saved money for her whole life to afford a luxurious grave to be placed among the tombs of nobles and members of the middle class.
Caterina succeeded in making her dream come true, and she’s still here to enjoy the immortality her statue has granted her.
READ ALSO: The Rolli in Genoa you should visit.
Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno
How to get There:
By car: Motorways exit at “Genova Est”
By bus: lines 12- 14 – 34 – 48
By train: Brignole station + lines 12/14
By plane: Cristoforo Colombo airport+ Volabus line 100 to Brignole station + public bus lines 12 -14.
Opening hours: is open to the public daily from 7,30 a.m. to 17,00 p.m. / Sundays and holidays: Mess at 10,00 a.m.