Following in Dante’s footsteps: Eight pleasing towns to revisit in Italy

Dante was flattering well-travelled; not usually did his domestic purpose concede him to see a lot of a country, yet after being banished from his hometown, he spent a rest of his life on a road. 

City breaks, farming retreats and cross-country highway trips can all be injected with a Dante essence – usually follow a beam to learn a poet’s tie to 8 spots opposite a peninsula, all of that are good value a visit.


This is a large one. Dante was innate and grew adult in a Tuscan city, that after banished him when his domestic rivals gained power. The author had a love-hate attribute with his hometown – so many so that he favourite to report himself as ‘Florentine by birth, yet not in conduct’.

Photo: Ghost of Kuji/Flickr

But hindsight’s a good thing, and a city that once threatened Dante with genocide if he dared to return, after motionless it was indeed utterly unapproachable of him. The ‘House of Dante’ is dedicated to a poet’s life if we wish to learn more, or we can demeanour for a dozens of portraits, busts and plaques in his honour that are dotted around a city. 

You can revisit a places where a author once set foot, starting with a San Giovanni baptistery where he was christened and – substantially during a after date – found impulse for a hymn or dual of a Comedy in a fantastic mosaic ceiling. Then there’s a Palazzo dei Priori, now a museum, where Dante once spoke during city assemblies. That’s usually for starters – here’s a self-guided Dante tour of a city that will make certain we don’t skip a thing.


Dante and his children spent dual years of his outcast in Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna. In 1321, a producer died during a age of 56 as he was returning to a northern city after an ambassadorial outing to Venice.

Then things got weird.

Did Ravenna’s mosaics enthuse Dante? Photo: Andy HayFlickr

Dante was buried in Ravenna’s Church of San Pier Maggiore (now a church of San Francesco), and a grand tomb was built for him in 1483. Along with a pleasing mosaics Ravenna is famous for, a monolith is one of a city’s categorical chronological sites.

But Florence after motionless they wanted to bury Dante there, and built a fantastic tomb of their own. Michelangelo and even Pope Leo X got concerned in a debate for a poet’s stays to be returned to his hometown, yet a disreputable Ravenna monks sent an dull coffin, stealing his skeleton in a tip location. It was so tip in fact that they were usually detected by collision in 1865, during construction works.

The mark where Dante’s skeleton were hiddden during World War II, that can be found subsequent to a mausoleum. Photo:Catherine Edwards/The Local

In a tomb today, you’ll see candles unresolved from a roof inside – a oil for a lamps is paid for by Florence to make adult for exiling Dante. And a circuitously Dante Museum facilities several exhibitions about a producer and a purpose of Ravenna itself in Dante’s life. 


A reputable politician, thinker and writer, Dante complicated during Bologna’s famous university and visited many times afterwards, as good as name-checking a city frequently in his work. In De Vulgari Eloquentia, his dissertation on language, he praises Bolognese as a eminent chapter in comparison to those of other cities, even yet he suspicion Florentine was a best of all.

Photo: Yuri Vivomets/Flickr

The city’s dual towers – a many renouned traveller steer in Bologna – are evoked in Inferno to report giants submerged in a inlet of hell. But distant from being annoyed during a city’s honour and fun being compared to immorality giants, a Bolognese are unapproachable of a mention, and a board during a side of a towers displays a applicable quote.

The dual towers. Photo: Catherine Edwards/The Local

READ MORE: Why Bologna should be a subsequent place we revisit in Italy


Dante visited Rome in 1301 to accommodate Pope Boniface VIII, and it was while he was on this outing that Florence was taken over by a opposition coterie of Dante’s domestic party, a Guelphs, heading to  his exile. It’s probable that he also attended Pope Boniface VIII’s Jubilee a prior year, as he describes it vividly in Inferno. 

Photo: Bert Kaufmann/Flickr

Rome is mentioned frequently via Dante’s work, and in return, a city has paid reverence to Dante. You’ll see statues, paintings and streets temperament his name opposite a city.

Among a some-more important homages are a bust in a pretentious Villa Borghese park, and his cameo in a credentials of The Parnassus, a Raphael fresco, that you’ll find in a Vatican Museums.

Dante in a credentials of a Raphael fresco. Picture: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons 


Verona was where Dante initial sought retreat after being exiled, and he stayed for 6 years between 1312 and 1318, modifying Inferno and Purgatorio and operative on a final partial of a Comedia, Paradiso, in that he praises and interjection his “earliest refuge”. He was hosted by Verona’s ruler, Cangrande della Scala, on whom he lavishes regard in Paradiso and whose tomb we can revisit today.

Photo: Kosala Bandara/Flickr

Dante’s clever bond with Verona is commemorated with a statue in Piazza Dante, and we can take a Dante-themed guided tour by a city’s streets. 

You competence also wish to try a city’s tie to another literary giant; Verona’s Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore is not usually mentioned in Dante’s Purgatorio, yet is also a environment of Romeo and Juliet’s matrimony in Shakespeare’s play. And a tiny domain of Paradise has been used as justification that Shakespeare’s lovers were real; Dante refers to a unhappiness of a Montecchi and Cappelletti families – could these have been translated as a Montagues and Capulets?

Casentino, Tuscany

About 50km easterly of Florence is Casentino, full of forests and castles steeped in history. It is inexperienced by many traveller routes today, yet hasn’t always been so peaceful; Arezzo and Florence bitterly fought for a territory, quite in a 1289 Battle of Campaldino, in that Dante played a part. You can see a white mainstay on a site of a battle, famous to locals as ‘Dante’s suitcase’, and a circuitously Poppi palace has information about a battle.

The Casentino countryside. Photo: Mark Goebel/Flickr

But Dante’s practice on a terrain didn’t put him off returning to a area. He stayed in a towns of Poppi, Romena and Dovaldo to work during court, and if we select to reconstruct these trips, you’ll be rewarded with pleasing view and stately castles.

Casentino had a special place in Dante’s heart, and he ensured internal adults celebrity by including them in his Comedia – even giving a rivalry personality who died during a Battle of Campaldino, Buonconte da Montefeltro, a enlightened description in Purgatorio.

Lunigiana, northern Tuscany/Liguria

Lunigiana currently lies between La Spezia and Massa Carrara, yet in Dante’s time a borders were rather different. Dante visited a domain several times between 1306 and 1308, and his time in a segment enclosed a stay during a nunnery of Santa Croce del Corvo – that now offers guest accommodation if we wish a loyal Dantean experience.

One of a castles in a region. Photo: Paolo Sarteschi/Flickr

According to papers from a priest named Ilaro, when Dante arrived during a nunnery and was asked what he was looking for, he simply responded: “Peace”. You’re certain to get copiousness of that in a alpine farming region, that has several pleasing Gothic castles.

The palace of Mulazzo. Photo: Paolo Sarteschi/Flickr

If we wish to supplement a bit of enlightenment to your outing we can revisit a internal Dante museum that explores a links between Dante and Lunigiana. And given 2011, a city of Mulazzo has hold annual chronological reenactments in Apr to commemorate a poet’s attainment in a city.


Dante went to Venice countless times during his duration of exile. The initial was for a few months in Aug 1321 to solve a tactful dispute, when he stayed with his good friend, a noble named Giovanni Soranzo. Soranzo’s family home, a Palazzo Soranzo, is still station in Campo San Polo – a city’s second largest block – and yet it now houses apartments and offices, see if we can mark a board on a front observant a poet’s visit.

Photo: Kosala Bandara/Flickr

Dante was quite tender by a bustling shipyard of Venice, and uses it as a relationship to elicit a transformation and turmoil of sinners in Inferno. This is ironic, since while a Venetians constructed pleasing ships, a sinners’ activity is futile. The tercet has a possess plaque, that is on a categorical opening of a Arsenal tighten to a bust of Dante.

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