Marble splinters, Ruins and Remains – To Not Forget

70th Anniversary of the Bombardment of San Lorenzo

July 19-21, 2013, Verano Cemetery and the Basilica of S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura (St. Lawrence outside the Walls)

Rome, July 2013. On the 70th anniversary of the bombardment of San Lorenzo, the Rome Office of Cultural Heritage of the Municipal Department of Culture, Creativity and Artistic Promotion (Assessorato Cultura, creatività e promozione artistica - Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali) has organized a series of events from July 19th-21st to promote an in-depth examination of the consequences of this tragic event on the cultural patrimony of Rome.

On Friday, July 19th a day of study will serve to take stock of this tragic event from a cultural prospective, taking the Verano Cemetery as a symbol and source of our history and the history of the city of Rome.

Furthermore, in order to make known to the public the inestimable damage caused to these monuments, and the irreparable loss of their precious testimonies, guided tours of the cemetery have been organized and their will be special extended opening hours for the Centre for the Documentation of Historic Cemeteries that will allow the visitor to visit and consult the archival documents housed there.

The bombardment of San Lorenzo, which took place on July 19th, 1943, was one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of the city of Rome during the 1900’s and caused the partial destruction of the Basilica of S. Lorenzo and the monumental section of the Verano Cemetery as well as the loss of numerous human lives and the devastation of an entire working-class neighbourhood.

Calendar of events

19 July, 11.30 - 17.20
  • Basilica of S. Lorenzo fuori le mura, Pio IX Conference room
    Day of Study (see program below)

19 - 21 July
  • Centre for the Documentation of Historical Cemeteries, Verano Cemetery, Main entrance (P.le del Verano, 1)
    Special opening hours from 9.00 to 18.30

21 July, 10.00 
  • Verano Cemetery, Main entrance (P.le del Verano, 1)
    Guided Tour on the topic of “The Scars of the Bombardments of 1943/1944 as seen in the Quadriportico of the Verano Cemetery” 

19 July, 11:30-17:20
Basilica of S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura, Pio IX Conference Room
Day of Study


Session I: 11.30 - 13.30

  • Greetings and Opening Remarks
    Dr. Claudio Parisi Presicce, Sovrintendente ad interim (Ad interim Chief of the Municipal Cultural Heritage Service)
  • The Centre for the Documentation of Historical Cemeteries 2003 - 2013. Ten years of documentation: From Cultural Heritage to Digital HeritageDr. Nicoletta Cardano, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali (Rome Municipal Cultural Heritage Service)
  • New Perspectives for the promotion of the cultural and artistic heritage of the Verano Cemetery Arch. Francesco Giovanetti, Unit Director, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
    Dr. Vittorio Benedetto Borghini, Director of Funeral and Cemetery Services of AMA S.p.A. 
  • The protection of open-air monuments from the air raids of 1941-1943 in Rome
    Dr. Clara Cancellieri, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali 
  • The bombarded Quadriportico. The reconstruction of the pictorial decoration.
    Dr. Laura Rendina, Zètema Progetto Cultura
  • The lunette of Cesare Fracassini rediscovered in the Quadriportico
    Dr. Ferdinando Buranelli

Session II: 15.30 - 17.20

  • July 1943: what remains of the Basilica of San Lorenzo
    Prof. arch. Simonetta Ciranna, University of L’Aquila, Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Architecture and the Environment
  • Gaining an awareness through the tools of drawing and surveying
    Prof. arch. Cesare Cundari, “La Sapienza” University, Department of History, Architectural Restoration and Design
  • The Verano Cemetery and the neighbourhood of San Lorenzo: Story of the relationship in war and peace
    Prof. Lidia Piccioni, “La Sapienza” University, Department of Modern and Contemporary History

The Centre for the Documentation of Historical Cemeteries was set up ten years ago in 2003 in collaboration with AMA S.p.A. and Municipal District III to mark the 60th anniversary of the bombardments. Displayed in the centre are photographic reproductions of the area of the Verano Cemetery in the early years of the 1900’s, including artistic photographs and other archival material. It is also possible to consult parts of the municipal database which include more than 7000 records with historical and artistic information on numerous funeral monuments in the cemetery. On view are multimedia presentations of current research, and efforts towards the safeguarding, conservation, restoration and promotion of monuments owned by Roma Capitale. The centre also hosts a small library with bibliographic material and archives relating to the Verano Cemetery and other historic cemeteries in Europe.

Of particular interest is the documentary material relating to the bombardments of July 19th, 1943. Included are reproductions of drawings from that period that are part of the collections of the Museum of Rome, as well as photos and films from the historic archives of Istituto Luce and the public television RAI that illustrate with live archival footage of the bombardments of the city and the cemetery as well as the protection of the monuments from the air raids of the city of Rome.

For Information:
U.O. Monumenti di Roma: scavi, restauri e valorizzazione. Monumenti Archeologici Medioevali e Moderni del suburbio. Mura Aureliane (Operating Unit for the Monuments of Rome: Excavations, Restoration and Promotion. Medieval and Modern Archeological Monuments outside the Aurelian walls) Tel. 06-6710.6019/ 06-6710.5951. E-mail:

Centre for the Documentation of Historical Cemeteries - Tel. 06-4923.6254 (active during opening hours)   

How to Arrive: Metro B Policlinico; Tram 3 e 19; Autobus C3, 71, 88, 163, 223, 443, 448, 490, 491, 492, 495, 545 e 649.