The Italian Almanac

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Palinuro

Gravecam

A southern Italian beauty spot is set to offer tourists tombs in a burial place wired for sight and sound so their loved ones can `visit` them and the place they loved in life. The mayor of Pollica, an ancient hilltown with a stunning view over celebrated beach resort Palinuro and the picturesque fishing village of Acciaroli, said the council had received ``countless`` requests from Italian and foreign tourists to be buried there.

``We`ve decided to sell 150 tombs and, what`s more, give them the long-distance technology needed for distant relatives to commune with their dear departed,`` said Mayor Angelo Vassallo. ``A webcam will be operational round the clock and there`ll also be a new sound system to give them a feel of the meditative atmosphere``. The webcam will pan around the `Costantinopoli` graveyard, tracking from the bay view to the ancient Greek ruins of Velia and up to the perennially snowclad heights of Mt Stella, he said.

The mayor, whose town has been voted Italy`s second prettiest spot, noted that Costantinopoli, ``an evocative place with its waving cypresses and extraordinarily scented rose garden,`` was available because of the increasing Italian trend towards burial in wall niches rather than the ground. The price of the new `gravecam` hasn`t been set yet, Vassallo said.