Bonaria Death Rows


Spherical panorama Bonaria cemetery wall vaults

Burial above ground in a magnificent mausoleum is for the happy few, but the ordinary have to be content with a vault in the wall, neatly stacked in Bonaria death rows at the oldest cemetery of Cagliari.. It is like living in a mansion or in a flat; you either afford a large footprint or are content tiptoeing. At least at Bonaria cemetery you rest in peace for ever, while at other cemeteries you get evicted if the rent is not paid in time. This reminds me of my aunt telling us that she had arranged for a really luxury grave, allowing her to go home in the weekends.


Zoomable collage of wall vault medallions of women

As catholic kids we went to the graveyard once a year to visit our grandparents on 1 November All Souls Day. That day we prayed, shared bread with the poor and put white chrysanthemums on the graves of our family; so to diminish their sins and shorten their time in purgatory, the waiting room of souls before access to heaven. Finding the oldest graves of great grandparents and their brothers and sisters, further away in memory, was most difficult and required close reading of the inscriptions on the graves on the way in between.


Zoomable collage of wall vault medallions of men

One could not avoid imagining the stories of the lives and death of the unknown passed away that long ago. The same occurs visiting the wall vaults at Cagliari Bonaria cemetery. So the medallions of the Sardinian women to remember and men not forgotten are photographed to allow us to imagine stories of their lives and death.


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