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March 2014

A funeral boat in Venice

In "Taking a coffin to a Venice undertaker," we showed one aspect of death in Venice. With this post, we'll show what happens after the coffin has an occupant.

Below, you can see a funeral boat or water hearse on the Grand Canal. (On the left is the Ferrovia waterbus stop, next to Venice's Santa Lucia Railroad Station.)

Hearse on Grand Canal, Venice

We're guessing that this funeral boat is headed for the Piazzale Roma or the Tronchetto parking island, where a four-wheeled hearse will transfer the deceased to a cemetery on the mainland.

Funeral boat from Venice's Ponte dei Scalzi

Not all dead Venetians are taken away to terraferma. Venice has its own island cemetery, San Michele, where bodies are buried for 12 years before the bones are dug up and moved to mausoleum niches or a communal ossuary.

Coffin and funeral boat in Venice

For more information on death and burial in Venice, see our illustrated article at Veniceforvisitors.com: