Dante's celebrations in 2021

Dante's celebrations in 2021

In 2021 Dante Alighieri (Florence 1265 – Ravenna 1321) will be celebrated throughout Italy for the 700th anniversary of his death. Dante, author of the Divine Comedy universal masterpiece and “father of the Italian language”, is also symbol of Italian culture in the world and inexhaustible source of inspiration till nowadays. This year Florence is organizing many initiatives, culminating on March (the 25th will be "Dante’s day"), also with  the preview of the Museum of Italian Language inside the building complex of Santa Maria Novella. Here is a selection a selection of the main events.

On February 10, 2020 an event by the British Institute of Florence: Virtual Lecture, via Zoomby Alexandra Lawrence (in English)Dante’s dramatic love/hate relationship with Florence, following the 1302 dramatic exile over a politcal fight. 

Starting from March, the Bargello Museum will host two important exhibitions:
- Honorable and ancient citizen of Florence,  March 23- July 7. A selection of manuscripts, paintings, sculptures illustrate the development of Dante’s fame and cultural role starting from the second half of the 14th century, also thanks to famous commentators such as Boccaccio.
- The admirable vision. Dante and the Divine Comedy in the symbolist imagination. A series of works of art, between 19th and 20th century, depicting mystical and dreamlike images inspired by Dante.
The choice of the Bargello is significant: this medieval palace – nowadays National Museum of Sculpures with masterpieces by Donatello and Michelangelo – houses the most ancient portrait of Dante (frescoed by Giotto’s assistants); it was seat of the supreme judicial authority of the city, where moreover the sentence of Dante’s exile was issued. 

The Uffizi Gallery is proposing an interesting online exhibition, "To rebehold the stars", dedicated to the sixteenth-century illustrations of the Divine Comedy created by Federico Zuccari. The contemporary art exhibition by Giuseppe Penone and his installation in Piazza della Signoria, both dedicated to the Supreme Poet will be inaugurated in March. During the second half of the year the Museo Galileo will propose the exhibition "Dall'Inferno all'Empireo - Il mondo di Dante tra scienza e poesia" (From Hell to Empire – Dante’s world between science and poetry).

The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (the most important musical institution of Florence) is organizing three important projects: a complete reading of the Divine Comedy in 20 appointments at the Teatro Goldoni; three concerts conducted by Riccardo Muti in a series of “Dante’s cities”: Ravenna, Verona and Florence (September 13); a special concert dedicated to Dante, conducted by Zubin Mehta, for the inauguration of the New Auditorium of the Maggio Musicale Theatre (December 22). 

The Teatro Nazionale della Toscana will propose many events, between theatre and dance: "Progetto Inferno" an international production directed by Bob Wilson; "Silent Dante", a tale of Dante's life and works in a journey between Florence and Verona; the film "Inferno", directed by Mimmo Paladino; the dance performance "Paradise Now" in Piazza della Signoria by the Virgilio Sieni Company.

Noteworthy are many other events: the multimedia exhibition "Dante, eternal Poet" by Felice Limosani at the Basilica di Santa Croce; at Franco Zeffirelli Museum a mix of extracts from the film Inferno (unfinished work by the great director)  readings and a multimedia exhibition. New multimedia technologies also for the Museo Casa di Dante (Dante's house). On March 25 readings from the Divine Comedy in the Baptistery; on May 14 a historical Parade through the city center, culminating in front of Dante's statue on Piazza Santa Croce.

The details of the events will be specified shortly, also in relation to the development of the epidemiological scenario. See also the official website: (Italian version only, so far).