Us, the skulls of the Basilica, we are constantly photographed by the curious! Please, do not touch us! We are tired of being caressed on the head! do not take « selfies » with us: respect the place where we are and what we represent. We are part of a funerary monument, to the memory of someone who has lived before you and who rests in this church. All the churches of the baroque era are full of skulls and skeletons. In 1600, Italy did not count much and France and Spain argued over it.
Death is never far in the historic events of the time and you should therefore not be surprised by the presence of so many symbols that represent it.
It was customary to bury in the churches important characters by their rank or holiness.
If you look between one column and the other, you will find a lot of funerary monuments, some of which are really interesting!
There are consistencies that you can see in almost all the funerary monuments: an image of death, as a skull or even a skeleton. Often, to make the monument even more disturbing, there are images of the Greek mythology as gorgons, surrounded by two horns of abundance, screaming drama and despair of death. Higher up, there is often an image of the deceased, usually in the form of a marble bust, sometimes turned towards the altar, as if to signify that the meaning of life is the kingdom of heaven. The family blazon is located above the funerary monument ,to represent the only thing that remains on earth, even after death. People pass but not family. In this basilica, there are more than two hundred funerary monuments. Their proximity to the altar usually indicates the importance of the person buried there.