Accidental Tourist

It's not the spirits who scream on Venice's cemetery island

Don't scoff at signs saying 'beware of seagulls' when visiting San Michele, writes Janine Stephens

01 December 2019 - 00:00 By Janine Stephen

Cypress trees shivered in the warm wind; seagulls wept. Before us stood blocks of 20th-century resting places for the beloved dead: vaults sealed with stone plaques and adorned with plastic blooms. Some had images of husbands and fathers and grandmothers affixed to the lost ones' titles.

In this sun-baked place, with watering cans and gardening trolleys abandoned on the gravel, we stood and gazed at the past, at people who had walked the streets of the city across the water. And yes, at the type: perfect engraved script in the fonts of the times. Venice's cemetery island of San Michele holds appeal for many - even typography fans...

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