Weeping Angel – Rome, Italy

Protestant Cemetery, Rome, Italy

Protestant Cemetery, Rome, Italy

The Angel of Grief – my favorite tombstone of all time.

This gorgeous sculpture by William Wetmore Story, weeps atop his wife Emelyn’s grave in Rome, Italy.  William was the hottest American sculptor there from 1819 -1895. When Emelyn died, he poured his grief into this beautiful piece.  It’s been copied all over the world, but none of the flatterers are as elegantly poignant as the original.

The Protestant Cemetery…

…or non-catholic cemetery, as the Italian name translates literally, is one of my favorites. I mean, you have to go to Rome to see it, so duh. A lot of famous people rest there, but it’s the not so famous and totally unknown, the quirky, the tragic the pathetic, the stunningly narcissistic, (see 30-meter-tall Pyramid of Cestius), that blend to give it its distinctive ambiance. Part English church garden, part first-century Roman ruin, this cemetery’s on the top of my MUST GO BACK TO list.

I always love Let’s Go Guides for European travel info. Unlike Frommer’s and MichelinLet’s Go caters to students and travelers with small budgets. It’ll point you to the best eateries and coffee bars around the cemetery, the ones the locals hang out in.

Welcome to “I Dig Graves!”

I’m a tombstone tourist, not a historian or a genealogist.

There’s nothing I love more then wandering among tombstones.

Flowers in bloom, pioneer cemetery, Virginia City, Nevada

Virginia City, Nevada

Graveyards settle me, balance my yin and yang.

School boy tombstone, Mount Vernon Cemetery, Atchison, Kansas

Mount Vernon Cemetery, Atchison, Kansas

Have you felt it? All I have to do is walk through the gates, take a deep breath and all the hustle and bustle of my day seeps into the ground at my feet.

Cemeteries want us there. The dead crave visitors!  

Mausoleum row, Mount Mora, St. Joseph, Missouri

Mount Mora, St. Joseph, Missouri

That’s why the living spend so much money on beautiful tombstones. It’s why they write such lovely and interesting epitaphs.  To woo us.

Give in. Get your feet-on-the-ground!

Don’t just drive by the awesome, little graveyards you see along the road. I found one in a grocery store parking lot once. They’re everywhere.

Stop the car. Get out. Take your camera. If the gate’s unlocked, go on in!

The pictures I’ll post on this site are all taken by me. I’ll tell you where I found each cemetery in the hopes that you’ll get in the car or hop on your bike and visit too.