Burial / Exhumation
In Rome's cemeteries there are three different options for laying the deceased to rest: burial; entombment; cremation.
Burial is carried out by placing the coffin directly in the earth, in fields set aside for the purpose for a period of 10 years, at the end of which an ordinary, or "automatic", exhumation is performed. It is also possible to request an extraordinary exhumation before the expiration of the ten-year period.
Each body is buried separately; only mothers and newborns who both died at the time of delivery may be buried in the same tomb.
Procedures for requesting and performing the service
- Individuals entitled to make the request for burial, or funeral agencies they have appointed to represent them, must present it to the administrative office of AMA-Cemeteries of Rome, together with the necessary documentation
- Once the application has been processed, the office issues the Burial Order, which the applicant must present to the Inspector's Office of the assigned cemetery
- The Inspector's Office, having made the resulting entry in the cemetery registers, assigns an operating team to carry out the burial and notifies the applicant of the coordinates of the location of the resting place (number of the plot, the row, the grave), so that the applicant may attend the operation.
Once 10 years have passed from the burial of the last body that fills the capacity of a given burial field, the bodies buried in that field must be exhumed, so that the field can be used for new burials.
The public is notified of operations of ordinary, or "automatic", exhumation at least 6 months prior to their start, by means of public postings, announcements placed in at least three daily newspapers and announcements posted directly at the burial fields and at the entrances to the cemeteries.
The relatives of the deceased, or other interested parties, may present a request for the ordinary exhumation of a loved one in order to move the body to another resting place (transfer, entombment). The request must be sent to the Inspector's Office of the assigned cemetery, which, based on the schedule of exhumations already planned, shall notify the applicant of the date and time of the cemetery operation.
Requests may also be presented for an "extemporaneous" ordinary exhumation, to be carried out at days and times other than those scheduled on the program of ordinary exhumations drawn up by the Inspector's Office. Once again, the request must be sent to the Inspector's Office of the assigned cemetery, which shall set, in agreement with the applicant, the date and the time for the cemetery operation.
In the case of a request for ordinary exhumation for the purpose of cremation, on the other hand, the request must be sent solely by those entitled to make it to the administrative offices of AMA-Cemeteries of Rome.
In cases where no request for exhumation has been presented by relatives or by other interested parties, the operations are carried out anyway: bodies not yet decomposed are transferred to another burial field for a period of 5 years. Remains in the form of bones are collected in a bone case and kept in a mortuary chamber for a period of 2 years before being transferred to a common ossuary.
A service of extraordinary exhumation may be requested eve before the period of 10 years from the date of burial has expired, for the purpose of transfer to another resting place or cremation.
Procedures for requesting the service
- Individuals entitled to make the request, or funeral agencies they have appointed to represent them, must present it to the administrative office of AMA-Cemeteries of Rome, together with the documentation required for extraordinary exhumation
- Once the application has been processed, the office issues the Order of Exhumation, sending it to the Inspector's Office of the assigned cemetery. The administrative office also notifies applicants of the date of the operation, so that they can be in attendance
- The Inspector's Office of the assigned cemetery, having entered the operation in the cemetery registers, assigns an operating team to carry it out.