ROME: The price of dying is going up in Rome, if a city auction of prime cemetery lots is anything to go by.
The most expensive burial ground in the city's prized Verano cemetery is on offer for 312,629 euros -- the price of a modest apartment -- before tax.
Like living real estate, the plot is described as being of "classical style, in brick and slate-roofed, with decorative elements in (white) travertine rock and Cararre marble, with a capacity of 10," according to brochures.
The tombs, one of which can hold up to 28 coffins, can be viewed via Google Earth with pictures placed on the website www.amaroma.it
Future inhabitants will become neighbours of such luminaries as actor Marcello Mastroianni, writer Alberto Moravia or other cinematic figures in Roberto Rossellini and Luchino Visconti.
Rome mayor Gianni Alamanno hopes to raise 2.5 million euros from the sell-off of tombs whose owners are no longer known, are empty or are threatened with collapse, and offers a 75-year lease.
The auction is due to end on July 24.