Official Tourist Information Site
of Ravenna

Museo Dante

Via Dante Alighieri, 2/A - Ravenna

Not far from the Tomb of the Supreme Poet, on the first floor of the former Franciscan convent, MUSEO DANTE is a journey through the works, life and memory of Dante Alighieri, the father of the Italian language.

From the old dantesque museum to the new Museo Dante

The Dantesque Museum originally opened in 1921, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 6th centenary of the poet’s death, 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, underwent a series of rearrangements and additions to its layout, also in view of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death occurring in 2021.

The new Museo Dante

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.


Thanks to an imaginary timeline, you will be introduced to the life and work of Dante through biographical and historical events, readings and meetings.


Boccaccio was the first artist to create the stereotype of Dante’s image: in “Trattatello in laude di Dante” there 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 worldwide. The room has a series of Dante’s faces on display.


Restorated in 1989, it is one of the most suggestive rooms in the museum. On the walls, you can see the wreath that the associations of italian emigrants in Montevideo and the Uruguayan Dante Alighieri Society donated on the occasion of the 6th centenary of Dante’s death.


Since 1921, a wide collection of relics has been gathered in this room in order to show the greatness of Dante’s cult.

You will find on display 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 centenary of its birth.


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

ROOMS 6-7-8

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



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 is 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, starting 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 from 1470, coming from a detached portion of a 14th-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 6th 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 displayed in the Bargello, realised before 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.

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

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

Further information

Opening times

From Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am – 5.30 pm

Monday 1st January: 1.00 pm – 5.30 pm
Monday 25th March: 10.00 am – 5.30 pm
Monday 1st April: 10.00 am – 5.30 pm

Last admission: 1h before closing time.

Closing time

Museo Dante is closed on Mondays and December 25th.

Entrance fee

Adults: € 5
Concessions: € 3.50 (children from 6 to 14 years, citizens of Ravenna, holders of tickets of Domus of the Stone Carpets, holders of tickets of MAR – Ravenna Art Museum, Icom)
Concessions for school groups: € 1.50 (school groups of at least 10 people, > 6 years old)

Tickets are only combined and include: Museo Dante, Casa Dante.

Free of charge

Children up to 6 years, people with disabilities, caregivers, teachers accompanying school groups, journalists, tourist guides, group leaders.


Museo Dante is accessible for people with disabilities.

How to get there

Museo Dante is 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 museum is in a Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL), thus 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).

A cura della Redazione Locale

Last edit:27 May 2024

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