Initiatives, exhibitions, workshops, readings and dedicated itineraries: there will be a great many events that will characterise the entire peninsula for the seven hundredth anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, which took place in Ravenna on the night between 13 and 14 September 1321.
One of the most active Italian cities is Ravenna, whose name will remain forever associated not only with its extraordinary mosaics, but also with Dante, who arrived here after his stay in Verona at the court of Cangrande della Scala, accepting the invitation of the lord of Ravenna, Guido Novello da Polenta, who offered him the opportunity to cultivate his studies and finish writing his Divina Commedia.
Restrictions due to the pandemic have not stopped the celebrations dedicated to the Sommo Poeta (the supreme poet), even if they have been revised in online mode or by setting up virtual tours for exhibitions
The poet stayed in the Byzantine city for about three years and wrote Paradise there. Dante also became a representative of the patron from Ravenna, carrying out occasional political ambassadorships, such as the one that led him to Venice, a journey during which he contracted the malaria that would soon lead to his death.
Along the same route, the Florentine poet also stopped and stayed at Pomposa, where he was enchanted by the frescoes of the Last Judgement which, according to some, directly inspired him to create some of the literary images of the Comedy.
There will also be guided tours of Dante’s places, especially Ravenna, from which the poet drew inspiration on several occasions for the settings described in the cantos of his most extraordinary work.
There will be several itineraries dedicated to him, to discover the places that saw him as a protagonist, such as Palazzo Rasponi, which was probably the palace of the da Polenta family where Dante stayed, the Pineta di Classe with the large oak forest that inspired him when he wrote some of his verses, and the Basilica of San Francesco where his funeral was celebrated.
The tomb, where the box containing his remains is kept, cannot be missed; the Franciscan friars had secretly placed it on the wall of the cloister, for fear that it would be taken away by the Florentines, who never resigned themselves to ceding ownership.