Last year, the day I left Milan, the car service driver that took me to the airport drove past this absolutely beautiful building. The architecture was just amazing and it was so close to the hotel that I couldn’t believe that we had never wandered past it before. When I looked it up I found out it was Cimitero Monumentale. (The website is in Italian but I have that auto translate thing for Chrome.) I made a promise to myself that if I was ever able to return to Milan that I would make it a point to visit there. One year (and an amazing deal on a round trip ticket) later, I was able to spend about 3 hours and almost 2 camera batteries wandering around the beautiful grounds. The grounds are open Tuesday-Sunday from 9:30am-5:00pm. I was able to go on a Thursday. It was my first stop of the day and I didn’t even see the entire place. It’s so huge that you could spend the entire day there and still not see everything.
This was definitely a job for the 35mm lens, and even with it I still couldn’t capture just how large the grounds are. I keep going on about the architecture in Italy but it’s just so intricate and creative and beautiful. Even though there were a number of people there, everyone had a quiet and respectful air. The only noise was the soft crunching of the gravel under your feet. (Seriously, what is with this lame ass prose for the past few posts? 😆 But in all seriousness, as with the last post, that really is the best way to describe it.)
This place almost makes you feel like there is beauty, even in death. Some of the statues were so touching. You had hallways, mausoleums, and seemingly never ending gravel paths that led you to new places.
The entire time I was here, I kept thinking how much my mother would have enjoyed Italy, and especially Cimitero Monumentale, particularly the religious statues.
I wonder how many hours of work this took to complete. I had to ask my mom if it was the stations of the cross. Despite having made all my sacraments, I’m not religious, at least not in the go to church, pray the rosary type of way. It looked like it to me but I wasn’t 100% sure.
This was my absolute favorite piece. I even sent a picture to my mother. The symmetry, the artistry, it’s all just perfect.
This was another one of my favorites. I love how they’re all praying and watching over the dead. I took so many pictures while I was here that I had a difficult time narrowing it down for this post.
Every time you think you’re going to pack it in for the day, you spot something else new that you just have to see. That must have happened to me at least 3 times. There were benches at various parts of the cemetery so that people who were tired from walking could sit and rest. The trees all around provided a shady and cool spot to sit.
It was interesting to see the markers that had pictures to go along with them. It made the people seem a bit more real instead of just being names and numbers carved into stone. It was sad seeing some of the stones for children. Some of the people were born in the early 1900’s and lived in the 2000’s and it made me happy that they had such long lives.
At this point I started to feel a bit fatigued, so I started to walk back towards the way I came in. I like this picture because I feel it captures just how big the grounds are and how it makes you feel surrounded by something so much bigger than yourself, to get a bit philosophical.
I hope I did a good job in capturing the beauty of the grounds, but even so, it is definitely something I’d recommend that you make it a point to see if you’re ever in or near Milan. You won’t see everything there because of the sheer size of the grounds, but what you will see will make a lasting impression on you. I didn’t even get to see the Last Supper. I didn’t even know it was there until I saw Esther’s picture. She and Chantal went about a week after I got back, so we weren’t able to meet up, which is a shame, but there’s always another time. As much as I love Milan, if I am able to go back to Italy in the future, I’d definitely like to explore other parts such as Varenna, Verona, and Taormina and Palermo in Sicily.