One of the places that I recommend for anyone visiting Genoa is the monumental Staglieno cemetery on the outskirts of the city. In the end of the 19th century, wealthy Genoans tried to take conspicuous consumption (my favourite sociologist Torstein Veblen introduced the term http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspicuous_consumption in his Theory of the Leisure Class) to new heights by building extravagant tombs for themselves.
The most beautiful part of the cemetery isn’t the big crypts, but the hundreds of sculptures, some of which are pictured below. You can easily spend half a day at the cemetery admiring the great symbolic sculptures. I did.
The Commonwealth War Graves at Staglieno. The grave of a Captain, whose father died at Gallipoli in 1915 was especially touching. The son shared his father’s fate in the next World War.
At some graves nature embraces the sculptures.
In the end of the 19th century extravagant burials fell out of fashion. The carnage of WWI put a definite end to the era of monumental burial monuments.
A common theme at Staglieno is the grieving widow by her husband’s tomb. The lace-work on the sculptures is amazing.
Time has made this marble angel look quite scary.
Another widow at her husband’s grave. Few graves had widowers griving at their spouses graves.
A thougthful angel.
An angel tells the widow her husband has gone to Heaven.
A grieving child at her father’s grave.
Kissing goodbye. This one is one of my favourites.
The mad look in his eyes and the general setting reminds me of works by the painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela.
This one feels a bit more modern, one notices how new influences have an impact.
Outside the picture an angel is giving the Grim Reaper a good bashing. A very satisfying motive.
Cherubs greeting a woman arriving to Heaven.
A Roman officer ready to kill you (well, there is no-one else around)?