Here's a quick tour around the cemetery for you, to show you how beautiful it really is.
The cemetary is high up on the old side of town. The road doesn't quite reach that high, so a long alleyway and about 300 steps up are the only way to get there. But don't complain, bear a thought for the poor pallbearers.
The views are amazing from wherever you stand, looking in any direction. This is the view from the top of the steps inside the main entrance, looking down onto the town. There is a little stone bench here where it nice to sit and soak up the sun in the winter.
The family tombs are stacked on top of each other, like a little version of the houses in the town. A warren of tiny passageways and steps lead around the tombs. It also makes a really good place to play hide and seek, on a quiet day of course.
There is a story here that a Muslim man was buried at this point facing what was thought to be Mecca. It was later discovered that Mecca was actually in another direction, so the Muslim was dug up and reburied in the right direction. Whether this is true or not I do not know.
The other side of the cemetery faces the next village. It is surrounded by olive groves and cool and shady in the summer.
Most of the gravestones give little information on the person buried there other than name, dates and family. But there is one grave that people often talk about. A small boy, just 8 years old. The inscription reads, "Here lies an angel. Tragically swept away by an auto assassina." Presumably he was hit by a car. He must have been very unlucky though, because this was in 1921, there cannot have been that many cars around in those days.
Often you will find a gaping hole in the ground, with a pile of earth next to it. The hole will be covered with planks, which are there to stop you falling in. Not, as some people think, to hide any grisly contents, as it is empty, vacant and ready for possesion.
I went for a walk in the mountainside nearby the other day. Afterwards I stopped off at the cemetary to say hello to Carlo. He happened to be breaking open a tomb.
"Oh, I'll leave you to it," I said hastily backing away.
"Aww! No! Stay for a chat, pleeease!" He replied in all seriousness. I told him if he wanted to chat we could do it at home later.