Entombment / Removal from tombs
In Rome's cemeteries there are three different options for laying the deceased to rest: burial; entombment; cremation.
The system of entombment entails burial in:
- burial niches: built inside cemetery facilities and granted by the City Administration under concession agreements. The concession agreement may be issued only following the death of an individual who is entitled to be entombed in the cemeteries of Rome.
Concession agreements for niches for the burial of bodies last for thirty years and may be renewed.
The assigned cemetery in which a burial niche may be requested under a concession agreement depends on the zone of residence of the deceased or the applicant.
- niches for bones/ashes, for the entombment of:
- bone cases containing the bone remains resulting from operations of ordinary removal from tombs and ordinary exhumation;
- urns for ashes containing the ashes resulting from operations of cremation.
Concession agreements for bone/ash niches may be issued only in the presence of bone/ash remains of deceased parties who are entitled to be entombed in the cemeteries of Rome.
Concession agreements for niches for the burial of bones/ashes last for ninety-nine years and may be renewed.
The assigned cemetery in which niches for the burial of bones may be requested under a concession agreement depends on the zone of residence of the deceased or the applicant, whereas niches for ashes may be requested under concession agreements in any of the cemeteries of Rome, assuming there is availability.
- private tombs: individual citizens, organisations and associations may be request that cemetery areas be granted under concession agreements for the construction of various types of private tombs: chapel, ground-level tomb, and so on.
Concession agreements for the construction of private tombs are granted for periods of seventy-five years and are renewable.
The assigned cemetery in which areas for the construction of private tombs may be requested under concession agreements depends on the zone of residence of the applicant.
Each body must be entombed separately; only mothers and newborns who both died at the time of delivery may be buried in the same tomb.
Once the periods referred to above expire, the concession agreement may be renewed for an equal period of time, or the mortal remains may be removed from the tomb for transfer to another resting place or for cremation.
Starting from 16 April 2006, the thirty-year concession agreements for cemetery niches assigned from 16 April 1976 onward began to expire. Within six months of the expiration date, these agreements may be renewed by the parties entitled to do so (concession-holders, relatives of the deceased or other interested parties) for an additional thirty years, at the fee rates in force at the time of renewal.
Once six months have passed from the date of the expiration of the concession agreement, without any intention having been expressed as to the renewal of the concession agreement or the removal from the tomb of the mortal remains of the deceased, the niches once again become available to the City Administration, and the mortal remains are collected and preserved in bone cases or buried in the ground. However, in light of the lengthy period of time elapsed since the start of the concession agreement, as well as the City Administration's wish to reach as many of the parties involved as possible, these cases shall be kept for another two years, following which the mortal remains for which requests have not been received shall be sent to the collective resting place in the common ossuary.
Extraordinary removal from a tomb
The removal of a body from a tomb for transfer to another resting place may be requested at any point in time.
Only in cases where the request for removal from the tomb is presented before two years have passed from the moment of entombment, must there be a declaration from healthcare authorities certifying that the cause of death was not an infectious disease.