angeli di san michele

Jared yelled of riot in her ears as G watched the angry riot of now gray waves through the window of the vaporetto. The sun peaking through the cracks in the clouds made the water glossy and moody. G thought it fitting as she was on her way to the cemetery island.

She despised graveyards with the cloud of sadness hanging over them like a bunch of cotton wool stuck in the branches of some shrubs. Yet this island of the dead had long been a source of curiosity for her and so finally – 16 years after her first arrival in this city – she was finally heading to San Michele or simply “Cimitero” as it was known on the route of vaporettos 4.1 and 4.2.

At the San Zaccaria stop tourists packed into the previously serenely half-empty vessel as a bunch of crazed sardines into a tin can. Sardines is what we all are right now and there’s no helping us should this thing go down.

Walking in the silence of the cemetery G found herself slightly disappointed. She had expected some dark and gothic feeling or something of a similar nature, but found only blocks of marble stacked one upon another with vases of flowers stuck to them. Only the oldest part of the cemetery with its few sad angels provided her a glimpse of something she had for some reason hoped to find here.

The ban to photograph the place in order “to respect the peace of the deceased” seemed ridiculous at best. The dead didn’t care if anyone took pictures of their tombstones. It was the living who had created these ridiculous laws. G had strong doubts that in the afterlife – if there was such a place at all – anybody gave a flying rat’s ass about what the living did.



  1. mvaden1948 says:

    It has such wonderful photographic opportunities. I found my hours spent there to be profoundly moving also. And any ban on photos must be new because I never saw any signs when I was there in 2012.
    Lovely photos my friend….as usual.


    • biankonera says:

      Thank you! 🙂 Im really glad you like these posts of mine.

      Come to think of it I may have misunderstood something about that ban (because I only caught a glimpse of something saying “vietato fotografare per rispettare…” on my way off a super crowded vaporetto so go figure – maybe it was just my imagination going on a rampage as Ive never seen any such bans in other cemetaries and Venezia tends to mess with my mind at times in the strangest of ways 😀 )


      • mvaden1948 says:

        Maybe the sign was to not take pictures when there are people around. I spent most of my time in the “English” area….I went particularly to visit Joseph Brodsky and there was no one else there. There had been people for a funeral who got off the vaporetto at the same time as me and I made sure to respect their privacy and headed in the other direction.


      • biankonera says:

        Ah yes that could have been the case indeed. I went looking for Brodsky too but never found him. Guess I will have to try again next time to pay respects to the author of the wonderful “Watermark”. In any case San Michele proved to be just as unique as the city its part of.


      • mvaden1948 says:

        Next time stop at the office and pick up a map. It was still hard to find. I’ll email you a picture and you’ll find it with no trouble on your next visit. I reread that book every year at this time. I even stopped in a book shop near San Marco and got a copy in Italian that I left as a gift for my landlord.


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