Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Italy

Scaliger Tombs

The Scaliger Tombs is a group of five Gothic funerary monuments in Verona, celebrating the Scaliger family, who ruled in Verona from the 13th to the late 14th century. The tombs are located in a court of the church of Santa Maria Antica, separated from the street by a wall with iron grilles. Built in Gothic style, they are a series of tombs, most of which are in the shape of a small temple and covered by a baldachin. Acc ...
Founded: c. 1329 | Location: Verona, Italy

Pyramid of Cestius

The Pyramid of Cestius is an ancient pyramid in Rome. Due to its incorporation into the city's fortifications, it is today one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome. The pyramid was built about 18–12 BC as a tomb for Gaius Cestius, a magistrate and member of one of the four great religious corporations in Rome, the Septemviri Epulonum. The sharply pointed shape of the pyramid is strongly reminiscent of the p ...
Founded: 18-12 BC | Location: Rome, Italy

Cimitero Monumentale di Milano

The Cimitero Monumentale is one of the two largest cemeteries in Milan, the other one being the Cimitero Maggiore. It is noted for the abundance of artistic tombs and monuments. Designed by the architect Carlo Maciachini (1818–1899), it was planned to consolidate a number of small cemeteries that used to be scattered around the city into a single location. Officially opened in 1866, it has since then been filled ...
Founded: 1866 | Location: Milan, Italy

Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte

Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte is a set of world-famous steps in Caltagirone. It was built in 1606 in order to connect the ancient part of Caltagirone to the new city built in the upper part. The staircase, over 130 meters long, is flanked by balcony buildings and is today one of the identifying monuments of the city. In 1844, the staircase underwent modifications, among which the elimination of rest areas stands out ...
Founded: 1606 | Location: Caltagirone, Italy

Mausoleum of Valerius Romulus

Valerius Romulus (c. 292/295 - 309) was the son of the Caesar and later usurper Maxentius and of Valeria Maximilla, daughter of Emperor Galerius. He was buried in a tomb along the Via Appia. The restored tomb stands within a grand sporting arena known as the Circus of Maxentius, itself part of a broader imperial complex built by the emperor Maxentius in the early fourth century AD.
Founded: 309 AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo

The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo (Catacombe dei Cappuccini) are burial catacombs. Today they provide a somewhat macabre tourist attraction as well as an extraordinary historical record. Palermo"s Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks began to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified one of their number, recently dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed hi ...
Founded: 1599 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Catacombs of Commodilla

Catacombs of Commodilla, on the Via Ostiensis, contain one of the earliest images of a bearded Christ. They originally held the relics of Saints Felix and Adauctus. The hypogeum leading to the catacombs was built in the fourth century. The catacombs were used for burials until the sixth century. Later, as happened to other Christian underground cemeteries, it was transformed into a place of worship of martyrdom: restorati ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Catacomb of Callixtus

The Catacomb(s) of Callixtus is one of the Catacombs of Rome on the Appian Way, most notable for containing the Crypt of the Popes, which once contained the tombs of several popes from the 2nd to 4th centuries. The Catacomb is believed to have been created by future Pope Callixtus I, then a deacon of Rome, under the direction of Pope Zephyrinus, enlarging pre-existing early Christian hypogea. Callixtus himself was entomb ...
Founded: 2nd century AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Redipuglia World War I Memorial

Redipuglia is the largest Italian Military Sacrarium. It rises up on the western front of the Monte Sei Busi, which, in the First World War was bitterly fought after because, although it was not very high, from its summit it allowed an ample range of access from the West to the first steps of the Karstic table area. The monumental staircase on which the remains of one hundred thousand fallen soldiers are lined up and whi ...
Founded: 1938 | Location: Redipuglia, Italy

Catacombs of Domitilla

Close to the Catacombs of San Callisto are the large and impressive Catacombs of Domitilla (named after Saint Domitilla), spread over 15 kilometres of underground caves. The Domitilla Catacombs are unique in that they are the oldest of Rome"s underground burial networks, and the only ones to still contain bones. They are also the best preserved and one of the most extensive of all the catacombs. Included in their pa ...
Founded: 2nd century AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Porta d'Ossuna Catacombs

The Catacombs of Porta d"Ossuna were built by early Christians around 4th and 5th centuries AD. They were founded in 1739.
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Palermo, Italy

Catacomb of Priscilla

The Catacomb of Priscilla on the Via Salaria was used for Christian burials from the late 2nd century through the 4th century. This catacomb, according to tradition, is named after the wife of the Consul Manius Acilius Glabrio; he is said to have become a Christian and was killed on the orders of Domitian. Some of the walls and ceilings display fine decorations illustrating Biblical scenes. The modern entrance to the cat ...
Founded: 2nd century AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Syracuse War Cemetery

Syracuse War Cemetery is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission burial ground for the dead of World War II. The site of the cemetery was selected in 1943 at an early stage in the operations for the capture of Sicily. In this cemetery most of the graves are those of men who lost their lives in the landings in Sicily on 10 July 1943, as part of the early stages of the campaign to capture the island (Operation Husky). They ...
Founded: 1943 | Location: Syracuse, Italy

Etruscan Oppidum at Monte Castello

Monte Castello oppidum, like other Etruscan habitats of the island, controlled the ancient ironworks, was strategically located above a hilltop between Ligurian Sea to the north and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the south. It had a rectangular plan (30 x 60 m), consisting of overlapping blocks of local stone. The settlement, which was excavated in 1977, was inhabited since the first half of the 4th century BC. It was settled unti ...
Founded: 400 BC | Location: Marciana, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.