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Municipality of Ravenna

Dante Museum and Casa Dante

Via Dante Alighieri, 2/A - Ravenna
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Located not far from the tomb of the Supreme Poet, on the first floor of the former Franciscan convent, DANTE MUSEUM is a journey through the works, art and memory of Dante Alighieri, the father of the Italian language.

FROM THE MUSEUM DANTESQUE TO DANTE MUSEUM

The Dantesque Museum originally opened in 1921, on the occasion of Dante Celebrations in the poet’s 6th death centenary, by the then Superintendent of Ravenna Ambrogio Annoni and the respected collaboration of the eminent architect of Ravenna Corrado Ricci. The museum was a storage of relics and mementos of the Municipality’s property. It used to preserve plaques and objects sent from all over the world for the celebrations of 1908 and 1921.

Over the last century, the museum ceased its activity for a long period of time, undergoing a series of rearrangements and additions to its layout, also in view of the 700th death anniversary occurring in 2021.

The new Dante Museum

The museum features several rooms, and offers an emotional journey across history and images. It deals with the human adventure and artistic experience of Dante, focusing on the Comedy and its fortune.

A series of relics and objects of great suggestion make the whole experience even more suggestive. On display, you will find the box in which the friars hid the Poet’s remains and the chest in which they were displayed in 1865, after their fortuitous recovery.

ROOM 1

Thanks to an imaginary timeline, the visitor is introduced to the life and work of Dante, made of biographical and historical events, readings and meetings.

ROOM 2

Boccaccio was the first artist to create the stereotype of Dante’s image: in “Trattatello in laude di Dante” is such a famous description that it has been translated in several languages. From that description stems the unique and extraordinary fortune of the poet’s iconography, which is maybe the most famous face worldwide. The room has a series of Dante’s faces on display.

ROOM 3

It is one of the most suggestive rooms in the museum. Restorated in 1989, the expenses of its painted decorations were paid by the Italian emigrants of Montevideo and the Uruguayan Dante Alighieri Society, who chose to participate in Dante celebrations in his 6th death anniversary in this way. The room’s name stems from this kind gesture.
On the walls, the wreath that the Italian and foreign associations donated on that occasion prove the shared and widespread participation in Dante celebrations.

ROOM 4

Since 1921, a wide collection of relics has been gathered in this room in order to show the greatness of Dante’s cult. The room displays the fir wooden box that preserved Dante’s remains from 1677 until their recovery in 1865, and the wooden chest created to display the Poet’s remains on the occasion of the 6th birth centenary.

ROOM 6

The multimedia room deals with the popular fortune of Dante and the success his works enjoy still in our days.

ROOMS 7-8-9

You will do a journey acrooss the three cantiche of the Divine Comedy, listening to the verses and enjoying the images they evoke.

Casa Dante

Housed in the fourteenth-century noble villa located just in front of Dante’s Tomb, CASA DANTE (Dante’s House) is the final stop of the itinerary started in Dante Museum.

It is a polifunctional space hosting many exhibition areas, a bookshop, a didactic workshop and a meditation court.

The first room, realized thanks to the collaboration with the Uffizi Galleries, will host a long-term exhibition with some very  important works loaned by the museum of Florence itself.

On the other hand, in a second room will be Dante’s collections owned by the Classense Library, which is the institution that has always taken care of the safeguard, display and scientific management of all the material related to Dante preserved in the city.

Besides the exhibition areas, Dante House hosts a didactic woskshop equipped with learning stations for students. Lastly, there is a meditation court that offers an area for reflection, ideally in continuity with the Zone of Silence.

Casa Dante, finally boasts another area (which is still being renovated), dedicated to design, always taking inspiration from Dante’s figure. This space has been created thanks to the prestigious collaboration with Adi design Museum.

CONTACTS

FOCUS

The true face of Dante

The image of Dante Alighieri has a strong profile, with an imposing Roman nose, a pointed chin, and a severe look.

It’s a face that perfectly matches the common symbolic image we have of the Poet, but it tells little of the man, of the illuminated and sensitive artist he was.

Over the last two centuries, there has been much discussion about Dante’s true face. Beginning with the one described in 1362 by Boccaccio:

His face was long, his nose aquiline, and his eyes rather big than small. His jaws were large, and his lower lip protruded […] and his expression ever melancholy and thoughtful.

The first known painted portrait is displayed in Palazzo del Bargello in Florence and belongs to the Giotto school (1330-1337). There has been a lengthy discussion about whether Giotto himself, a contemporary of Dante, could have met him in person and thus handed down to posterity the most realistic of the portraits that have survived to our days.

Subsequent portraits were largely influenced by Boccaccio’s description, often exaggerating the details to the point of rendering the poet’s face almost a caricature.

There is, however, another portrait of him as a young and handsome man. It is a panel dated 1470, coming from a detached portion of a fourteenth-century fresco and ascribed to Puccio Capanna. The panel shows Dante «with gentle features and an aristocratic air, with a drawn face and large reflective eyes».

On the occasion of the sixth centenary of the poet’s death (1921), anthropologist Fabio Frassetto (University of Bologna) took measurements of the poet’s bones.

He reconstructed the skull and superimposed it on various portraits, concluding that the most accurate image was the portrait in the Bargello, chronologically earlier than Boccaccio’s description.

In 2006, the Virtual Reality Laboratory of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bologna created a new model of Dante’s skull.

Professor Nadia Scardeoni from Verona, an expert in virtual restoration, using high-resolution digital images, analysed Puccio Capanna’s panel.

She hypothesized that the most familiar face to us was only “a stereotype”, and that the time had come to «free him from a mask without a soul, to rehabilitate what was probably, for the time, a handsome young man of great intelligence».

Further information

Opening times

From 1 April to 31 October
From Tuesday to Sunday and holidays: 10am – 5.30pm

From 1 November to 31 March
From Tuesday to Sunday: 10am-4.30pm
1st January: 1pm-4.30pm

COVID-19: INFORMATION FOR VISITORS
Access to the monument is allowed only on presenting the EU Digital COVID Certificate (Green Pass) or an equivalent certificate issued by the health authorities (or negative test result performed in the last 48 hours), compulsory for everyone over the age of 12.

For further information, see: Covid-19 updates: information for tourists

Closing time

Dante Museum/Dante House are closed on Mondays and on 25 December

Entrance fee

Admission: €3
Concession: €2 (Student groups, citizens of Ravenna, ticket holders of the Tamo Museum, Domus of Stone Carpets, Rasponi Crypt and the Hanging Gardens, Amici di RavennAntica, Dante Pass)
School groups concession: € 1.50 (at least 10 people)

Free admission

BOOKINGS AND TICKETS
Tickets can be bought on the spot or in one of the many bookshops managed by the RavennAntica.
Booking is still recommended as follows:

Free of charge

Children under 14; journalists with ID card; disabled and carer; licensed guides, tour leaders and group leaders. Discover all the available concessions.

How to get there

The Museum Dante and Casa Dante are located in the heart of the city centre, near Dante Alighieri’s Tomb, the Basilica of San Francesco and it is easily accessible on foot or by bike from the railway station.

By car: the two buildings are in a Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL), thus the access is limited. Nearby you will find several paid parking areas.

By bus: in the area are many bus stops (via Mariani and Piazza Caduti della Libertà). For info: startromagna.it

Accessibility

Dante Museum/Casa Dante are both accessible for people with disabilities.

A cura della Redazione Locale
E-mail: turismo@comune.ravenna.it

Last edit:17 September 2021

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