The Verano (officially “Campo Verano Cemetery Monumental City”) is the municipal cemetery and monumental center of Rome, located in the Tiburtino area, near San Lorenzo and near the Basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le mura. It owes its name to the ancient field of Verani, “gens senatoria” at the time of the Roman Republic.
The area, located along the consular street Tiburtina, had always been a place of burial (cemetery are now incorporated in the catacombs of Santa Ciriaca, and was buried San Lorenzo, at whose tomb were built the church and the convent). The modern cemetery was established during the reign of Napoleon (1805-1814) and designed by Giuseppe Valadier between 1807 and 1812, in accordance with the edict of Saint Cloud in 1804, which required the graves outside the city walls. Back in Rome, after the abdication of Napoleon in 1814, the papal administration maintained but the new regulation cemetery. The work continued with the pontificates of Gregory XVI and Pius IX when, under the direction of Virginio Vespignani, the project had a definite structure and were purchased additional land. The cemetery complex went slowly larger and larger encompassing expropriated land, for example, that gave way to the villa Mancini Pincetto. The expansion continued until the sixties when he came into operation another great Roman cemetery: the Flaminio.
The entrance to the cemetery, with three arches, made impressive by the presence of four large statues representing Meditation, Hope, Charity and Silence, before a large quadrangle, by the Vespignani, completed in 1880.
The significance of the Verano for population is proven by the fact that since 1 November 1879 had ushered in a horse-drawn tramway which linked the cemetery to Termini station.
On 19 July 1943, the first major bombing of Rome, as well as the district and the railway station of San Lorenzo, was hit in the cemetery. Were damaged the portico, the Pincetto, the military shrine, the deposit of municipal funeral services. The explosion also caused the collapse of a section of a wall, placed to the right of the entrance, causing the death of some people who had sought shelter. There were many casualties among florists and stonemasons in Piazzale del Verano. Suffered damage, among others, the graves of the family and Petrolini Pacelli.
The Verano Cemetery, with its collection of works of art, is a kind of open-air museum that has no equal for the quantity and characteristics of the evidence, an inestimable value from the historical, artistic and cultural history the mid-nineteenth century until the twentieth century. For this reason there are organized thematic visits free by the City of Rome, according to historical routes that lead to the tombs of the protagonists and actors in specific historical periods or events or classes of characters.