The Island of the Dead

Cemetery, Island of San Michele, Venice
I suppose I have been rather spoilt by my long years of contact with the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, which is a beautiful spot and exceptionally well looked after, so it came as quite a shock to visit Venice's equivalent.

The island of San Michele, which lies a short distance to the north of Venice, is where Venetians find their final resting place. 

In both Rome and Florence, non-Catholics have their own cemetery; in Venice they are buried in the same cemetery as Catholics, albeit in an area which is walled off from the main space. 
However, the small section, which is marked Rep Evangelico, is a sad and neglected affair. Many of the gravestones have toppled over or are sinking into the earth. There isn't a single place to sit; not that there is any real desire to linger (especially in the summer when it is plagued by mosquitoes). 
Grave of Ezra Pound, San Michele, Venice
Its two most famous 'residents', Ezra Pound and Joseph Brodsky, were both poets. 

Pound's tombstone bears nothing more than his name. He lies next to his partner of fifty years, Olga Rudge, whose tomb is no more revealing. Brodsky's tomb, in comparison, is a mine of information, bearing his name in both Russian and English and his dates. 


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