Rome of the deaths: suggestions for an itinerary out of beaten tracks.


Chiesa dei Cappuccini (Cappuccini’s Church)
Not so famous as many other sites in Rome, the Cappuccini’s Church (Santa Maria della Concezione, Via Veneto near Barberini Square) hides an original and disquieting cemetery under its floor. The church itself looks like an anonymous building and the inside appears poor and colourless but you can find masterpieces by Guido Reni and Domenichino. The crypt is something awesome and you really don’t expect something like that…in a church!
The cemetery consist of five chapels decorated and furnished with bones and skeletons of about 4000 dead friars. You can find floral motifs, some clocks or canopies all made of human bones. And of course whole skeletons as statues! “You are as we were once, we are as you will become” is the admonition of the cemetery. It could appear blasphemous or disrespectful of death, but the aim of the chapels is exactly the opposite. No doubts: just visit it!! 

Die Cappuccini Kirke (Santa Maria  della Concezione) ist weniger berümht als viele anderen Denkmäler in Rom. Die Kirche erscheint arm und verblasst, und doch hat sie wichtigen Kunstwerke von Domenichino und Guido Reni.

 Aber was du nicht voraussieshst ist dass es eine Krypt (oder „Friedhof“) gibt.

Draußen ist die „Via Veneto“, von der Fellini „La Dolce Vita“ erzälht; unter der Kirche ist die Stadt der Toten. Fünf Kapellen dekoriert mit Knochen und ganze Skeletten von Capucciner: sie bilden Baldachine, Blumenschmuck und Standuhren.

Es kann blasphemish erscheinen, aber es ist eine Ermanung: das Leben vergrht schnell!
„Ihr seid wie wir früher einmal waren; wir sind, was ihr einmal sein werdet“


(Ich möchte Verena für ihre Geduld danken!)


Acatholic Cemetery (English People cemetery)
Near the Cestia Pyramid (via Caio Cestio 6) is the Acatholic Cemetery of Rome, otherwise known as the “English Cemetery”. It was maybe in the eighteenth century that the first non-catholic person was buried in the area that surrounds the Cestia Pyramid. Only in 1824 pope Leone XII allowed the construction of a wall to enclose the field where a lot of people had been buried.
Today the cemetery is a wonderful piece of green, history and peace in the heart of Rome. There you can find the grave of Percy Shelley, Antonio Gramsci and John Keats. The tombstone without the poet’s name is a romantic masterpiece:
This grave contains all that was mortal, of a young English poet, who, on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his heart at the Malicious Power of his Enemies, Desired these Words to be engraven on this Tomb Stone “Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water.
Feb 24th 1821.
And on a wall next to the tomb:” Keats! If thy cherished name “writ in water”/ Each drop has fallen from some mourner’s cheek”.


Una risposta a “Rome of the deaths: suggestions for an itinerary out of beaten tracks.

  1. Io ho deciso. Per il mio appartamento opterò per le decorazioni di ossa. Appena ne trovo 3-4 mila, il gioco sarà fatto. :)bacio


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