The Zona Vecchia

The Zona Vecchia ( V )

The ascent to the top of the Cemetery is very steep, the ground may be slippery or uneven due to tree roots. Please walk very carefully. In contrast to the Parte Antica, the tombs in this area which date mainly from the early 1800s are laid out in serried rows, and are often very close together.

One of the earliest burials in this area is that of the English Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley friend of John Keats and husband of Mary Woolstonecraft Godwin, the authoress of Frankenstein. Near to Shelley’s grave we find the beautiful Angel of Grief, fashioned by the American sculptor William Wetmore Story for his wife, which was soon after to become his burial place too. The Story family were Protestants, Shelley, scandalously at the time, declared himself an aetheist but we now begin to see the tombs of other non-catholic religions, for example that of the Russian artist Carlo Brulloff, a Russian orthodox, or the forbears of the present-day fashion entrepreneurs the Bulgari family who were Greek orthodox. A number of Italians are also buried in this area, including the writer Carlo Emilio Gadda.

Plant lovers might like to note the two beautiful examples (male and female) of the sago palm (cycas revoluta) that stand like sentries at the entrance to the Cemetery, as well as the ancient wysteria plant that graces the trellis outside the Visitors Centre producing wonderful purple blooms and perfumes in the spring.

Route map

  • Use two-finger touch gestures to pan and zoom the map
  • Tap on Satellite to activate the rotate map function
  • Tap on numbers to show the grave at that position


Time: About 30 minutes.

Difficulty: Easy

Tips: The route only covers the Zona Vecchia. Many graves are not on the main path and you need to use location references or photos to locate them. During the tour, inside the cemetery, it is strictly forbidden to smoke, drink and consume food, lean or sit on the graves and film in the cemetery. For information on the type of photos allowed, you can refer to the Visitor Center. It is also advisable to wear comfortable shoes for the walk and to pay attention to the large roots on the paths, especially in the Zona Seconda and we suggest you bring protective cream during the hottest period.


Please find below the stages of this route:

  1. Bruloff, Karl Pavlovich (Born Charles Bruleau)
  2. Russian artist. Read More

    Zone: V Row: 3 Position: 18

  3. Woolson, Constance Fenimore
  4. American writer, granddaughter of James Fenimore Cooper and friend of Henry James, among her works is the novel Anne. Read More

    Zone: V Row: 13 Position: 12

  5. Story, William Wetmore
  6. American sculptor, art critic, poet and writer. Read More

  7. Shelley, Percy Bysshe
  8. One of the major English Romantic poets of the second generation. Read More

    Zone: V Row: 16 Position: 2

  9. Corso, Gregory Nunzio
  10. American poet, member of the Beat Generation, his works include Gasoline and The Happy Birthday of Death. Read More

    Zone: V Row: 15 Position: 11

  11. Lee Belinda
  12. English actress, her films include: La lunga notte del ’43, Fantasmi a Roma e I magliari. Read More

    Zone: V Row: 15 Position: 12

  13. Bathurst, Rosa
  14. Young British girl who died by drowning in the Tiber at the age of 16. Read More

    Zone: V Quarter: 2 Row: 13 Position: 17

  15. Gadda Carlo Emilio
  16. Italian writer, poet and engineer, he marked the narrative of the twentieth century through with a highly original mixture of different languages​. Read More

    Zone: V Row: 8 Position: 13
The complete guide to find a grave

All the graves of the Non-Catholic Cemetery can be located through the position details that can be read within each single buried person’s page or gravestone’s page itself.

Exact position can be located by 4 simple fields: The Area (Zona), The quarter (Riquadro), The Row (Fila) and The Position (Posizione).


The Areas (Zona)

The Non-Catholic cemetery of Rome is composed by 5 large areas. All areas are bounded by walkable paths, so they are very easy to locate.

ATTENTION: We gently remind to all visitors that the Antica(A) area is a flat and grassy garden, and the graves are scattered in a very informal fashion. Furthermore we suggest you to exclusively refer to the walk’s map and also to the photo of the gravestone to locate the exact position.


The quarter* (Riquadro) *valid only for the Terza Zona (3)

The quarter is strictly related to the Terza Zona of the cemetery.

This area is divided into 4 quadrants numbered as shown in this map.

Only the graves in the Terza Zona will have the quarter indicated in the position information.

The field that represent the quarter will be empty/not visible in each other grave except the graves in the Terza Zona.

Please note that to identify any tomb it is always possible to refer to the walk’s map and to the photo of the grave.





The Row (Fila) 

The graves in the cemetery are mostly laid out in ordered rows.

Only the Zona Antica(A) and the tombs along the walls, for example ossuaries, are an exception.

In order to count the row number it is necessary to recognize the lower part of the cemetery as a reference. The Non-Catholic cemetery in fact extends over a slight slope (except for the Zona Antica which is flat but does not have rows).

The first row will always be the one at the lowest level compared to the others.

Once the first row is identified it will be easy to count all the others rows.



The Position (Posizione)

It is used to locate the grave within the reference row.

The position can be identified by counting the graves from left to right.

The count must be made always starting from the left end of the area where the tomb is located.