Today, the Dante Zone is a portion of the historic centre of Ravenna whose main focus is Dante’s Tomb – the small neoclassical temple designed by Camillo Morigia in 1780-1781 to house the mortal remains of the great poet. This area is the result of a series of urban works, carried out between the 1920s and 1930s, which gave it the features that still characterise it today, earning it the nickname “Zone of Silence”.
The redevelopment that took on its current appearance in 1936, thanks to the design of architect Giorgio Rosi, was in fact intended to create an area of respect, peace and tranquillity around Dante’s tomb, the Quadrarco and the Franciscan cloisters. The aim was to isolate the area from traffic and the noise of city life, thus giving the place an atmosphere of contemplation and sacredness that the proponents of the work envisaged for Alighieri’s “last refuge” on earth.
Through a series of demolitions and reconstructions, the opening of new squares and the diversion of city traffic, the development of this area constituted a fundamental step in the urban history of Ravenna, and the episode was not relegated to local interest only: the works were also made possible thanks to the direct involvement of the then Fascist government which, demonstrating the centrality that the figure of Dante had always held in its cultural identity, made it an object of pride for the entire country.