The cemetery

The monumental cemetery was inaugurated in 1888 in the area of ​​the “silva” of the Capuchins, a garden of which an ancient cistern is preserved. The project is clearly influenced by Leone Savoia and his Gran Camposanto Messina, from which it borrows the valorisation of the insertion into the natural panorama and some scenographic features.
The enclosure is accessed through an elaborate entrance: richly decorated gates, supported by a pair of pillars, lead to a tree-lined path, closed between hiding the view. At the end there is a vast and bare atrium with a square plan also surrounded by walls: after passing this closed space the tree-lined avenue resumes, now free and open onto a beautiful sea panorama enhanced by the contrast with the previous spaces without a view.

At the end of the avenue stands the Cumbo chapel, an original Art Nouveau construction enriched by stained glass and wrought iron. Taking advantage of the steep natural slope of the land, the upstream area was divided into three large panoramic terraces, connected by staircases. Three chapels are arranged on the northern limit: they belong to the Capuchin friars, the Trimboli family and the D’Amico family and are in neo-Gothic style but with floral accents in the D’Amico chapel. Among the chapels of the third terrace, the Piraino chapel is particularly well cared for, in neo-Renaissance style: inside there is a marble tondo with a portrait of the gentlewoman Antonietta Giangrasso Piraino sculpted by Mario Rutelli in 1893. Numerous other buildings propose modules varying between neoclassicism, neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau adapted to cemetery purposes without any notable particularities. Minor noble chapels are created in the walls supporting the terraces. A fourth terrace downstream of the avenue was intended for the burials of the poor and was recently renovated: here is the modern burial ground of the Rizzo family.

Sculptures by artists who lived between the last years of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, mostly from Messina, have populated the vacated spaces. On the first terrace, the monument to the Andolina spouses, erected in the 1920s, is worth mentioning and is the work of the sculptor Schipilliti: the characters are represented full-figure and life-size on the sides of a tall stone. Nearby is the bust dedicated to Stefano Zirilli Proto. Near the staircase stands the bust of the priest Giuseppe D’Amico enriched by inscriptions by Tommaso Cassisi. Nearby is the grandiose monument of the boy Stefano Muscianisi Platania, whose full-figure statue was sculpted by Giovanni Scarfì in 1893: the child is depicted playing with a dove and the base is enriched with coats of arms and festoons. Nearby is the monument to the teenager Antonio Galluppi De Gregorio, with a statue by Giuseppe Gangeri (1896). In the second terrace, concentrated around the central path, there are: the sarcophagus of Rosa Florio Lombardo, sculpted by Gregorio Zappalà, with a statue of a woman in mourning; the monument of Francesco Lo Presti, by the same author, in the form of an obelisk with a medallion – portrait and a beautifulputto at the feet (1901); the monument of Gioacchino Chinigò, with an inscription and a half-figure statue of the writer, which rises from a pile of stones to commemorate his death among the rubble of the Messina earthquake, the work of Filippo Lo Schiavo; the Zuco family burial ground with the statueof the teenager Pier Maria Zuco who died in the Messina earthquake of 1908 and inscription by Pascoli.

The busts of Angelina Gerosa Cambria (1910), professor Francesco Bertè (1898) and the little girl Margherita Bevacqua D’Ondes (1892) are the work of Giovanni Scarfi. An inscription recalls the musician Riccardo Casalaina, victim of the earthquake in Messina, in the tomb of the Lucifer family. The epigraphy of the historical burials contributes to create a significant picture of Milazzo between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Among the most recent monuments we can remember that of Captain Massimo Scala, sculpted in 1963 by Rosario Leonardi, and the sculptor Filippo Lo Schiavo with the statue of the stonemason.