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Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321)

  • Dante's area (Dante's Tomb and Quadrarco di Braccioforte)

    Dante's area (Dante's Tomb and Quadrarco di Braccioforte)

  • Detail of the dome of Dante's Tomb

    Detail of the dome of Dante's Tomb

  • Dante's Tomb

    Dante's Tomb

  • Basilica of San Francesco

    Basilica of San Francesco

  • Basilica of San Francesco

    Basilica of San Francesco

  • Basilica of San Francesco (crypt)

    Basilica of San Francesco (crypt)

  • Carlo Wostry, "Dante's Funeral", 1921. Dante Museum

    Carlo Wostry, "Dante's Funeral", 1921. Dante Museum

  • Dante's bust. Dante Museum

    Dante's bust. Dante Museum

  • Dante Museum - Library

    Dante Museum - Library

  • Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio. Illustrated by Amos Nattini. Dante Museum

    Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio. Illustrated by Amos Nattini. Dante Museum

  • The Divine Comedy. Library of Centro Dantesco

    The Divine Comedy. Library of Centro Dantesco

  • The Divine Comedy. Library of Centro Dantesco

    The Divine Comedy. Library of Centro Dantesco

  • Old Franciscan Cloisters

    Old Franciscan Cloisters

  • Old Franciscan Cloisters

    Old Franciscan Cloisters

  • Dante Museum

    Dante Museum

  • Classense Library

    Classense Library

  • House of Francesca (via Zagarelli alle Mura)

    House of Francesca (via Zagarelli alle Mura)

  • Scarabigoli House

    Scarabigoli House

  • Pinewood of Classe

    Pinewood of Classe

  • Dante Alighieri

    Dante Alighieri

Ravenna seems to Dante the most appropriate place to complete his Divine Comedy. Upon arriving in the city – probably in 1318 – the Supreme Poet takes refuge in the court of lord Guido Novello da Polenta, a man of wide cultural interests. In Ravenna, the Poet is immersed in a peaceful atmosphere, the perfect atmosphere for completing the drafting of the Paradise: the city in the Commedia is always characterized by a veneer of calm and stillness. Dante immediately becomes an object of devotion in Ravenna, that turns into a real worship after his death, occurred in September 1321.

Today, the city perpetuates the memory of the Poet with the programme of talks, readings, exhibitions and concerts of “Settembre Dantesco” and houses his relics and memorabilia inside Dante Museum. Along with Dante’s Tomb, Quadrarco di Braccioforte and Basilica of San Francesco, the Museum is part of the so-called "Zona del Silenzio" (Area of Silence), that encompasses the places of Dante in Ravenna.

 

Francesca Da Polenta
Inferno V, 97-99
On that shore where the river Po
with all its tributaries slows
to peaceful flow, there I was born.


Ravenna
Inferno XXVII, 40-42
Ravenna remains as it has been for years.
The eagle of Polenta broods over it
so that he covers Cervia with his wings.

 

The noble families of Ravenna
Purgatorio XIV, 107-108
The house of Traversaro and of Anastagi
both families now spent, without an heir

 

The shore of Classe
Purgatorio, XXVIII, 1-21
Eager to explore the sacred forest's boundaries
and its depth, now that its thick and verdant foliage
had softened the new day's glare before my eyes,
I left the bank without delay
and wandered oh so slowly through the countryside
that filled the air around with fragrance.
A steady gentle breeze,
no stronger than the softest wind,
caressed and fanned my brow.
It made the trembling boughs
bend eagerly toward the shade
the holy mountain casts at dawn,
yet they were not so much bent down
that small birds in the highest branches
were not still practicing their every craft,
meeting the morning breeze
with songs of joy among the leaves,
which rustled such accompaniment to their rhymes
as builds from branch to branch
throughout the pine wood at the shore of Classe
when Aeolus unleashes his Sirocco.

 

Caesar
Paradiso, VI, 52-63
'Under it triumphed youthful Scipio and Pompey,
and to that hill beneath which you were born
it seemed indeed a bitter sight.
'Then, as the time approached when Heaven willed
to bring the world to its own state of peace,
Caesar, by the will of Rome, laid hold on it.
'And what it accomplished, from the Var to the Rhine,
the Isère and the Loire and the Seine beheld,
as did all the valleys that supply the Rhone.
'What it accomplished when it issued from Ravenna
and leapt the Rubicon was such a flight
that neither tongue nor pen could follow it.

 

San Pier Damiano
Paradiso, XXI, 106-126
'Between Italy's two shores
and not far distant from your homeland,
crags rise so high that thunder rolls below them.
'They form a ridge called Càtria.
A consecrated monastery stands below,
once dedicated wholly to God's worship.'
Thus a third time he began,
addressing me, and then went on:
'There I became so constant serving God,
'my simple fare seasoned with olive oil alone,
that I readily endured the heat and frost,
content in contemplation.
'That cloister which used to yield abundant harvest
to these heavens now is barren,
but soon its barrenness must be revealed.
'In that place I was known as Peter Damian,
but Peter the Sinner in the House
of Our Lady on the Adriatic shore.
'Little of mortal life on earth was left to me
when I was singled out and dragged to that red hat
which now is passed from bad to worse.

 

Alighieri, D. The Divine Comedy, translated, with a commentary, by Charles S. Singleton. Princeton: Princeton University Press