Farinelli – 1

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy bernardgordillo.com

He died a lonely old man.  He was seventy-seven years old.

His first grave was in the cemetery of the Capuchin monastery of Santa Croce in Bologna, Italy.  He was interred wearing the mantle of the Order of Calatrava.

Santa Croce Cemetery itself is unruly:  too much of everything, and messy.  Monuments stand here, there and everywhere, as do floor slabs.  And fifty percent of them are memorials for dead people who aren’t buried there.  The vast church, flat and gray, like something from a Hollywood set, surveys the hodgepodge before it.  Begun in 1294, consecration of the church took place in 1433.  The biographer, Giorgio Vasari, added to the clutter when, in 1565, he was hired to revamp the interior of the church.  He whitewashed the frescoed walls, then erected ugly altars.

Wrecked further by cannon balls, the pounding hooves of sweaty horses, and the tramping of thousands of soldiers during the Napoleonic wars, Santa Croce cemetery descended into total chaos.  So his body was moved to its second grave.  His niece, Maria Carlotta Pisani, transferred him to the cemetery of La Certosa in Bologna.  Forty years later, she was interred beside him.

La Certosa

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