First the price of an espresso coffee went up, then a basket of vegetables at the supermarket, now the cost of funerals is in the spotlight. According to Italian consumer association Codacons, the average burial costs for ones dearly departed have gone up by some 20 per cent since 2001. Paying for coffins, flowers and undertakers services will cost anything from 3,500 to 20,000. While burial prices at cemeteries have remained more or less constant over the past four years, there has been a major price hike for undertakers services, which have risen by 15-20 per cent. Undertakers charge 1,000, on average, for transport to the cemetery, issuing a burial certificate and sealing the casket. The most basic coffin costs 900, funerary wreaths cost from 250 each and the price of flowers for the coffin start at 160. Even the priest usually pockets around 100 for performing the funeral service. As for the difference in prices, geography explains a lot; funerals in southern Italy tend to cost more because of their greater cultural and religious significance. Southern Italians will pay extra for luxury caskets, horse-drawn funeral carriages and even for professional mourners.
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