Ravenna, the last refuge of the “Ghibellin fuggiasco” (Ghibellin fugitive), must have been for Dante Alighieri a destination he had long aspired to. A favourable context, at last, for himself and the members of his family. Proof of this is the relationship he maintained with the city, the familiarity he showed with the territory and with the family of the Counts da Polenta, as confirmed by several of his writings.
One of the positive factors of his exile in Ravenna was also that of having a possible source of income, thanks to the assignment of representation conferred on him by Guido Novello da Polenta as his ambassador in Venice to the doge, Giovanni Soranzo. Historiographic sources tell us that the acceptance of these appointments, with the consequent transfer of Dante to Ravenna, was preceded by many requests and agreements of a financial nature. This was made possible also thanks to the common ties with his cousins, the Counts Guidi, already protectors of Dante, in 1311, as we read in a heartfelt letter from Dante to Emperor Arrigo VII of Luxembourg.
The period that Dante spent in Ravenna with his sons Pietro and Jacopo, who were preparing to write the Commentaries to the Commedia, and Antonia, who became a nun in Ravenna with the significant name of Suor (Sister) Beatrice, is crucial for his work. It was here that he found tranquillity and inspiration, here that he completed the composition of the cycle of the Commedia, here that he died of malaria contracted during one of his missions to Venice, and here that his remains are still kept today.