Bring flowers, wear a helmet


In a city full of special news comes something even more special than usual.  

The columbarium at the municipal cemetery on the island of San Michele  is aging and deteriorating faster than some of its past and future residents.   This means that the dear departed are not resting in much peace anymore, and they’re not going to let you be  feel too serene either.

Today the Gazzettino  announced:  “If you want to go put some flowers on your loved one’s tomb, you have to wear a helmet.”  

Grieving relative takes cover.  (Credit: Il Gazzettino).

Grieving relative takes cover. (Credit: Il Gazzettino).


Yes, lack of money (“no ghe xe schei“) has brought us to this: A cemetery where you have to protect yourself from your relatives even after they’re dead.   Three hundred final resting places have become public hazards.

I can hear the helpful advice now, as you set out with your little bunch of chrysanthemums:

“If you’re going to visit Uncle Max today, watch out — he could be throwing  bits of rock and cement  at your head.”  

“He never liked me very much….. “

Veritas, the private agency that oversees the cemetery (and, let it be noted yet again, also  disposes of Venetian garbage), says that the necessary funds for repairing the cemetery have been allocated by the Special Fund (money being  spent on something that isn’t part of the MOSE floodgate project?   Astounding) — but that the money hasn’t been freed-up yet.  

“Dig we must.”   It takes on new resonance when the guys are drilling and backhoeing around your family.   So meanwhile, wear your hard hat.   And try to ignore the fact that the stuff that keeps falling on your head will probably not be raindrops.   It could be cousin Lola.

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Categories : Problems, Venetian-ness

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