The anniversary of Dante Alighieri's death, author of The Divine Comedy and a man of controversy, will be commemorated throughout 2021 in Florence, Ravenna, and 70 other towns and villages. Now THAT's a celebration!
(Want to know more about the celebrations? Link at the bottom of this blogpost.)
Dante was born in Florence, but exiled because of his political affiliations. He died, and is buried, in Ravenna. Florence wants him back. Ravenna says no.
And so it goes.
Known as the father of the Italian language because he penned The Divine Comedy in the vernacular rather than Latin as was typical until that time, Dante established the Tuscan dialect as the standard and provided an easy-to-comprehend tale for those not schooled in Latin.
His is an interesting story, not the least of which includes his muse (and love?), real-life Beatrice Portinari, who inspired the guide, Beatrice, in The Divine Comedy, arguably the first work of modern-day fiction. Today people leave letters in a basket in the tiny Florence chapel where Beatrice prayed, pleading with her to fix their love-lives.
Dante looks longingly at his beloved Beatrice in Florence, Italy. Walker Art Gallery, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Henry Holiday, 1882-1884.
For more information concerning the yearlong celebrations of the 700th anniversary of Dante's life and death, check out this Wanted in Rome article: Italy Celebrates Year of Dante
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