Okay, so that sounds dramatic. I guess it should really be called the cemetery tour, since this entire trip is based around photographing some famous and not-so-famous cemeteries around Europe, but that’s a little boring. 

Just a little background, before this thing gets out of control. I’ve always been interested in cemeteries, even when I was little, and I did a major research paper on cemeteries for my masters degree. As part of that research, I came across a book called Saving Graces by David Robinson. It’s a very small book that is almost entirely composed of black and white images of grieving women found in European cemeteries, particularly in Paris and Italy. That book had a profound impact onme and I knew that one day I would go to those cemeteries featured in the book to photograph the beautiful monuments there. I did get a chance to photograph the 4 big cemeteries of Paris while I was living in France circa 2006-2008, those being of course Pere Lachaise, Montmartre, Montparnasse, and Passy. However an anticipated trip to London’s cemeteries in 2007 fell apart when my bank card refused to work and thus being extremely short on cash, I couldn’t afford the Tube (or any other kind of transport) to get around London, particularly these out of the way cemeteries. 

Fast forward eight years later. It’s the start of a new year and I’ve decided to attend a conference in Italy regardless or whether or not I get accepted to present (which I did, btw). I also came to the realization that I could not only visit the grand cemeteries of Milan and Genoa, but that I would have time to visit most of the interesting cemeteries in Western Europe on this trip. So, after a lot of planning, I finally came up with a route that would allow me to visit most of the cemeteries on my bucket list. Some, however, remain out of reach for various reasons, but that’s all the more reason to come back again.

The list/proposed itinerary looks something like this (cemeteries listed as optional means that they will only be visited if time, money, and weather allows):

Milan – Cimitero Monumentale di Milano
Genoa – Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno
Turin – Cimitero Monumentale di Torino (optional)
Bologna – Cimitero Monumentale della Certosa di Bologna
Ferrara – Cimitero Monumentale della Certosa di Ferrara (optional)
Florence – English Cemetery (optional)
Venice – Cimitero di San Michele and possibly the Jewish Cemetery on Lido
Vienna – Zentralfriedhof
Vienna – Cemetery of the Nameless
Bratislava – Ondrejsky Cemetery (optional)
Czech Republic
Prague – Old Jewish Cemetery
Prague – Olsany Cemetery
Kutna Hora – Ossuary
Paris – Pere Lachaise
Paris – Montmartre
Paris – Pet Cemetery
Paris – Montparnasse/Passy (optional)
Paris – Catacombs (optional)
Cemeteries in Brussels or Antwerp (optional)
London – Highgate (East and West)
London – Abney Park
London – Brompton
London – Kensal Green
London – Nunhead
London – West Norwood (optional)
London – Tower Hamlets (optional)
London – Postman’s Park
London – City of London Cemetery (optional)
London – Barnes Old Cemetery and Brookwood Cemetery (optional)

So the totals look like this:

Time to travel: 5 weeks
Countries to visit: 7 (5 guaranteed, 2 optional)
Cemeteries/Other places to visit and photograph: 18 (with 13 possible options)

All that, plus a little time to do some regular sightseeing/non-cemetery photography. In any event, my cameras and film (I hope I have enough!) are ready to go.