Cimitero Monumentale di Milano (Monumental Cemetery of Milan) is a large cemetery in Milan. Famous for the abundance of artistic tombs and monuments, the cemetery is an open-air museum, which definitely deserves to be on the list of the most important tourist attractions of the city.
In 1837, the Austrian administration of the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom requested for the construction of a new cemetery to replace the six pre-existing Milanese cemeteries.
The winner of the final competition organized by the Municipality was the project of the architect Carlo Maciachini, designed in 1864 in an Eclectic style, with Byzantine, Gothic and Romanesque references.
The inaugural blessing was given by Monsignor Giuseppe Calvi on November 2, 1866, in the presence of the mayor of Milan, Antonio Beretta. On the same day, the first burial took place, that of the body of the composer Gustavo Noseda. The official opening of the cemetery took place on January 1, 1867.
Since then, the cemetery was gradually enriched with funerary works of classical and contemporary genre.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
For the high artistic value of sculptures, tombs, funeral shrines and other works inside, the Milan Monumental Cemetery is among the most artistically and historically important cemeteries of Italy, together with the Monumental Cemetery of Brescia, Campo Verano of Rome, Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno, in Genoa, Monumental Cemetery of the Certosa di Bologna and the Monumental Cemetery of Messina.
The main entrance is through the large Famedio, a massive neo-Gothic construction of marble and stone, intended for the burial of illustrious people. Initially, here was a church, which was later converted into the Famedio. The work on the building began in 1875 and was completed in 1887.
Among the monuments in the cemetery, we can find works by great architects and sculptors, such as Adolfo Wildt, Giò Ponti, Arturo Martini, Agenore Fabbri, Lucio Fontana, Medardo Rosso, Giacomo Manzù, Floriano Bodini and Giò Pomodoro.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest Metro station is Monumentale, right in front of the cemetery, on the Line 5. The closest tram stop is in Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale, a few meters away, on the tram Line 10. The closest bus stop is in Via Carlo Farini, about 200 meters away, on the bus Lines N25 and NM2.