Take the Dante Tour of Florence
Posted by Virginie (03/04/2015)
Durante degli Alighieri, more commonly known as Dante, was one of the middle ages most renowned and influential poets whose legacy in literature is still felt today around the world. Often referred to as “the father of the Italian language”, Dante’s success helped to establish the Tuscan dialect he spoke as the dominant form of written and spoken Italian from which the modern language is descended.
Although he spent much of his later life in exile from his beloved Florence due to his political activities, the city left its mark on Dante’s most famous works, including Divina Commedia (the Divine Comedy). Many people and places he knew from Florence are referred to in Dante’s writing, making the city the perfect destination for lovers of “il Poeta”. Here are some of the top places to visit:
Casa di Dante (Dante’s House)Dante’s family owned a number of houses in Florence, the Case di Dante being one of them. Although there is no firm evidence than Dante ever lived in the house that bears his name, it now serves as a museum dedicated to the poet. From copies of The Divine Comedy to portraits of the great man and all sorts of information about his life in Florence and beyond, the Casa di Dante is so packed with Dante memorabilia that true fans really can’t afford to give it a miss.
Sasso di Dante (Dante’s Stone)Located in the Piazza Duomo, right in the heart of Florence, Dante’s stone was one of the poet’s favourite spots in the city. The story goes that Dante used to sit on the stone and write, taking inspiration from the beautiful architecture surrounding the piazza. Although the stone itself is no longer in place, there is a plaque marking the spot, so you can stand there and soak up some inspiration yourself. The piazza is also home to the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, the fourth largest church in Europe.
Chiesa di Santa Margherita de' CerchiThis small church in the centre of Florence is often referred to as “Dante’s Church” thanks to its close association with the poet. Legend goes that this is where he saw his first great love and muse, Beatrice Portinari, for the first time, when he was just nine years old. It is also thought that this is where he married his wife, Gemma Donati, sometime around 1285 or 1290. Thanks to Dante’s legacy, the church is now a favourite spot for lovers to visit, where many choose to write letters to Beatrice, which they leave beside the tomb where her body is believed to rest.