I had been strolling through Verona, Italy, admiring the citys antiquated beauty, when I passed the front of an enormous, pillared building complete with lounging marble lions guarding the entrance. Curious as to its purpose, I made my way up the steps, not even bothering to examine the lettering overhead.
A single word that read: Resurrecturis.
Passing through the gate, I immediately found myself in a courtyard teeming with graves; I had stumbled into the Verona cemetery. And it was beautiful. Plots were covered with slabs of marble and granite and adorned by ornately sculptured urns overflowing with flowers. Wrought-iron candelabras twisted into decorative crucifixes were littered amongst the graves, complimenting the statues of remorsefully weeping women.
The ground was covered with pale pebbles, giving the entire area a washed out appearance that must have been stark and gorgeous at night. Tall shrubs gave hints of green, but mostly small clusters of funeral bouquets lent the only bright pinpoints of color. A high, pillared wall that was actually an immense mausoleum run through with commemorative markers enclosed the area. Most of these plaques bore a scone for flowers, or even a raised black and white photo of the person encased therein. It was even possible to go beneath these walls to the catacombs and walk the cool halls catching the occasional glimpse of an ancient, crumbling shelf.
Behind the far walls were yet more courtyards, resplendent with larger, breathtaking statues. A man sitting, watching his soul rise into the blue backdrop of heaven. The kneeling figure of a woman, once gleaming white marble, now stained by weather and the inevitable passage of time. And finally, an embodiment of the loss inherent in death
The statue of a man clinging to the body of his lover. Agony so great as to befit the city marked by Shakesphere for tragedy.
(Eros and Thanatos pair up throughout many, many memorials/cemeteries. An interesting couple. editor)