Venice undertakers offering bargain burials

'Flowers not included'

Venice undertakers offering bargain burials

(ANSA) - Venice, August 22 - Venice morticians are locked in a bidding war, offering no-frills, low-cost burials on the lagoon island as recession-weary customers pay closer attention to cost. "Why spend more when you can have the same service for less?" read 100 posters across the city from Agenzia Onoranze Funebri Rossi. The funeral-services provider is offering "respectful and professional" funerals and burials for the fixed bargain price of 1,380 euros. "So no flowers," said owner Andrea Coin. Prices in the city can be very high due to the cost of transporting the departed by boat and scarce space at the city's sole cemetery on the island of San Michele, where tourists flock to visit the tombstones of famous artists and writers such as Ezra Pound, Igor Stravinsky and Joseph Brodsky. Bargain funerals do not include services at the cemetery island's chapel. Rome-based undertaker Giorgio Lorenzetti says his competitive services in Venice will include flowers when he expands north later this year. But ceremonies will only be guaranteed after 3:00 in the afternoon, reserving the morning hours for higher-spending customers, he said.

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