The Monumental Cemetery of Sanremo

Sometimes the dead tell us more about ourselves than we wish to know

With the exception of small congregations of young folks telling scary stories enhanced by the consumption of cheap alcoholic beverages right from the bottle, people don’t stroll through cemeteries much these days.

In 2015 Silvia Salvini wrote The ‘Foce’ monumental cemetery in Sanremo: mirror of the city as outstanding tourist destination during the Belle Epoque (1880-1915) in the abstract of which she states:

The monumental cemetery of Sanremo, was founded in 1838 and now counts about 2000 graves, one third of which belongs to foreigners, evidences of the city as outstanding tourist destination. The city with a good climate was also choosen for the recovery from the disease of chest by many people, even by Maria Alessandrovna, Csarina of Russia. Many important people came to Sanremo from all over the world and sometimes here passed by and were buried: people like the painter Edward Lear, the anatomist Arthur Hill Hassal, Lady Caroline Giffard Phillipson, Prussian nobles, a good number of Russian aristocrats, and many others…

Martha and I strolled the cemetery one Monday morning in November. Inside the walls all was still, outside the waves of the Mediterranean crashed on the rocks. Trampled pine needles gave a memorable scent to our adventure into the land of the dead. We did indeed find the grave of Edward Lear, who is buried with his faithful servant. Perhaps you can tell by the grave condition which of them was the most famous.

edward lear gravestone

Graves tell us lots who we are, and who we respect. Who gets the art? We do, the wanderers. But things are falling apart, likel our peaceful world.

grave in desrepair

But sometimes there are just peaceful things to see, the infinity in the word, an angel to watch over it.

monumental cemetery sanremo angel
An angel browsing infinity

And sometimes a unique spot of sunlight spotlights the grave picture, a unique feature of the Italian grave marker.

This made for a very interesting walk through a very different, walled-off world.

Sanremo Visitor Guide

Address: Via S. Rocco, 6, 18038 Sanremo IM
Province: Province of Imperia

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The Monumental Cemetery of Sanremo originally appeared on , updated: May 22, 2024 © .

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