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of Ravenna

Modern-day Dante: a tour through the city

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  • Families, Young people

A one-day itinerary around Ravenna to know the relationship between Dante Alighieri and contemporary art in the city

Over time, Ravenna has paid homage to the Supreme Poet and his work with modern works related to his presence in the city.

This one-day itinerary will take you to the discovery of the figure of Dante Alighieri in a contemporary way, with a tour of the works that were inspired by the figure of the Supreme Poet.

1st STOP

The face of Dante, absorbed in his thoughts. The itinerary starts with the colourful street art work realised by the Brazilian artist Kobra, located in via Pasolini, right in the centre of the city.

After Chicago, London, Tokyo and many other places in the world, the artist has brought one of his works on the external wall of the “Filippo Mordani” primary school, thus creating a multi-coloured and modern artwork in the heart of the historical centre.

The work was realised in 2017 on the occasion of the Subsidenze festival, which enriched over the years the buildings and the streets of the city with more than 80 works visible at all times (see HERE).

From the Darsena area to the Rocca Brancaleone fortress, from the sea to the historical centre, there are many buildings that wear these large works of art, making Ravenna a small capital of street art and a reference point at national level.

In the Darsena area, the so-called “Cittadella della street art” hosts various works dedicated to Dante. Millo, for example, paid homage to the Supreme Poet with a mural depicting Dante and Virgil as children playing with some objects related to their journey in the afterlife.

2nd STOP

Blub is an Italian artist who dedicates himself to a different kind of art, with ironic and tiny works.

In Ravenna, you can admire his works in about 30 different places, scattered around the historical centre of the city.

“L’arte sa nuotare” (lit. art can swim) is the name of his series of famous people depicted underwater and with scuba diving masks: Marylin Monroe, Van Gogh, Magritte, Santa Claus, Dalì, and obviously Dante Alighieri.

In via Armando Diaz, not far from the railway station, there is a profile portrait of Dante with his typical red dress and laurel wreath – but he also wears a black scuba diving mask.

As we are walking towards the Zone of Silence, dedicated to the Supreme Poet, it almost seems natural for him to hold his breath, as if he were inviting us to keep quiet and meditate.

3rd STOP

Just a few hundred metres away, at the end of via Dante Alighieri, are his white and recently restored tomb, the Quadrarco of Braccioforte and the nearby Museo Dante.

The whole area, including the Basilica of San Francesco that hosted Dante’s funerals, offers one of the most charming views of the city.

Among ancient floors, small squares and porticoes, in this area you can really breathe the tranquility and serenity that are typical of Romagna.

4th STOP

For a few years now, in September – the month dedicated to Dante Alighieri – the cloister of the “Alfredo Oriani” library has been hosting Dante Plus, a collective exhibition of works of art coming from all over the world.

The project gathers a group of artists who are very different from one another, but who all draw inspiration from Dante Alighieri’s life and works.

Internationally-renowned comic artists, sculptors, painters and illustrators reunited in a temporary and ultra-modern gallery paying homage to the Supreme Poet.

If you want to see the works outside the dated of the exhibition, get in touch with Bonobolabo, leader of the project.

Dante Alighieri di Kobra (Ravenna, via Pasolini)
Museo Tamo (RA) - Mosaici danteschi - Giuseppe Salietti, Lucifero
Street Art, Millo - Dante e Virgilio (Ravenna)
Museo Dante (Ravenna)
Dante Alighieri di Kobra (Ravenna, via Pasolini)
Museo Tamo (RA) - Mosaici danteschi - Giuseppe Salietti, Lucifero
Street Art, Millo - Dante e Virgilio (Ravenna)
Museo Dante (Ravenna) | Foto © Marco Parollo
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Dante Alighieri di Kobra (Ravenna, via Pasolini)
Museo Tamo (RA) - Mosaici danteschi - Giuseppe Salietti, Lucifero
Street Art, Millo - Dante e Virgilio (Ravenna)
Museo Dante (Ravenna) | Foto © Marco Parollo
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5th STOP 

The TAMO Museum hides many treasures and offers various kinds of guided tours, workshops and multimedia experiences.

The cloisters of the museum – hosted in the former Church of San Nicolò – host the section “Mosaici tra Inferno e Paradiso” (lit. Mosaics between Hell and Heaven).

It is a collection of 21 works dedicated to Dante which were commissioned to great Italian artists from the 20th century and partly realised by mosaic artists from Ravenna.

6th STOP

Headphones on. The music starts. People around don’t know what’s happening, whay you are listening to.

Dante Alighieri tells his own story – how he got to Ravenna, how the city looked like more than 700 years ago, his life as an intellectual, but also as a politician and a knight.

This is only the beginning of Silent Play for Dante, an immersive walk among streets, squares, historical buildings and museums to discover the history of the Supreme Poet through his voice, and the voice of the city.

Guided by an expert guide, you will have the possibility to learn more about Dante Alighieri, from the Basilica of San Francesco to his Tomb, from the TAMO Museum to the Roof Gardens of Palazzo della Provincia.

Wear your headphones and let yourself get carried away!

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