June 26 Cemetery Island (Day 273)

Today we took advantage of the 2nd day of our 48 hour Vaporetti ticket and took the ferry to the small island known as Cimitero di San Michele, or Cemetery Island. It is one island of Venice that is definitely not crowded with tourists!

At the ferry dock the entrance gate invites you into the serene, quiet cemetery landscape.

Being an island most graves are above ground or in mausoleums around courtyards.

The cemetery is divided into various sections; Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and divisions such as Priests, or even Gondoliers!

The graves and crypts cover the whole island and large family crypts are intermingled amongst smaller graves, lending an air of equanimity in death. There are a few famous people buried here, artists, musicians, composers, authors, etc. We wandered around, listening to the birds chirping, admiring the sculptures and flowers, reading some quotes and dates on the headstones. Apparently the dead don’t get to rest here in eternity, the need for more space dictates that your remains can stay for only about 10 years, then they are removed to an ossuary so another can rest here! We decided our time of rest here was over so we caught the ferry back to the main island for lunch.

Looking back at Cimitero di San Michele, it looks like a private park enclosed by a decorative wall!

We decided to walk back to the hotel through a part of town we hadn’t explored. This area, the neighborhood of Cannaregio lies north of the Grand Canal and seems much more residential and less touristy, until we got closer to the train station!

Crossing one of the hundreds of bridges we got an iconic look at gondolas on a canal!

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