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Dante Alighieri's Tomb in Ravenna: Pay tribute to the most important Italian poet

Dante Alighieri, is a character that doesn't require any introduction, anyhow, I can understand that not everyone who come upon this post could have an idea about the man he used to be. Dante was a major Italian poet of the Late Middle Ages. His “Divina Commedia”, (Divine Comedy), is considered the greatest literary work ever composed in the Italian language and still now remains a masterpiece of world literature. His thoughts and the way he expressed were too far advanced even for our times. The Divina Commedia describes Dante's journey through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio) and Paradise (Paradiso). He is guided through the Hell and the Purgatory by the Roman poet Virgilio and by Beatrice, his ideal woman, through the Heaven. Many collages around the world study the Divina Commedia and all the Italians who attend High Schools read the Divina Commedia: the ones who take scientific branches  just stop with studying the main chapters (cantico) and others who follow litterature branches read the entire opera from the age of 17 to 19.

For this reason at some point of my life I found myself reading his comedy. Many of my peers, at that time, hated the readings of the Divine Comedy but it was not the same for me and for many of my classmates. I still remember the passion with which my teacher, Stefania Polacci, used to explain the poem. Most of the times this certainly makes a difference, she got the students hooked on real story and many of us were so excited to go through, she has been able to involve us. This is the reason why I was very keen to visit his tomb. I could finally pay respects to a man with whom I spent so much of good times during my last three years of San Tomaso D ’Aquino High School in Correggio. Contrary to what I expected, when I came in front of his tomb I realized that it had nothing special compared to many other places in Italy, it was a very simple monument located by the corner of the Via Dante Alighieri. You should be a real “Dante’s fan” to appreciate such a kind of situation; but what caught me even more was seeing so many foreigners and just few Italians. This disappointed me a lot. I didn’t want to believe that people out of Italy had more passion for Dante! If it was so, then I could only say that something had gone wrong. It should be a must visit for Italians as it is a tribute to a great poet. The tomb had no entrance fees and this could be certainly a good reason to visit the place while around. There was a didatic museum run by the Minor Friars just located inside the Franciscans convent on the left side of the tomb. It cost only € 3.00 per person. I highly suggest you a visit not only to learn Dante’s role in both Italian politics and literature but specially to know the fascinating mystery behind his burial. There are eight pannels illustrating the theft and discovery of Dante's bones. I have been reading for more than an hour. It has been a great way to refresh my memory. All the captions were written both in English and Italian. His body had been hidden in various places along the years to prevent any possible theft and now finally found its place in Ravenna. Seems that every year a delegation from Florence goes to Ravenna in order to return back Dante’s remains but Ravenna, continuously refuses.  I can easily understand their reason. In case visiting the museum, keep coins with you because since it is visited by very few people, the cashier often had no change. I had to ask it at the bar nearby. Here following the contact details of the museum: phone. 0544 33 66 7. www.centrodantesco.it  info@centrodantesco.it

Francicans Convent

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I love the images of the fantastic architecture too. Really added to the content t


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