In repose


It's the largest cemetery in Paris, a beautiful city within a city, with carefully laid-out streets, winding paths, gentle hills and shady trees. Although it's one of the most-visited cemeteries in the world, Père Lachaise still manages to retain an air of serenity. The list of well-known residents is long -- Delacroix, Balzac, Marcel Proust, Isadora Duncan, Colette, Rossini, Chopin (left and Gallery I), Moliere, Ingres, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Bellini, Corot and Modigliani, to name very few -- but as you wander the beautiful, impressive grounds of the cemetery you are struck not so much by its scale as by a sense of intimacy and feeling of tranquility.  Established by Napoleon in the early 19th century, the cemetery is now the final resting place for more than 300,000 people, with the graves marked by everything from stirring memorials and elaborate tombs to simple headstones. The great mime Marcel Marceau was buried there in late 2007 -- I don't know if reservations are currently being taken, but it would be a fine place to spend eternity.