In 2021, Dante Alighieri (Florence 1265 – Ravenna 1321) is being 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. Florence is organizing many initiatives, culminating in March. The complete programme of the events about Dante is on the Website 700dantefirenze.it (Italian version only), while, for events in the rest of Tuscany check here: Danteotosco700.it/en . Here is a selection of the main events during this year.
Starting from March 25th - "Dantedì"- day of the beginning of Dante's journey to the afterlife, Feast of the Annunciation and ancient Florentine New Year's Day – many initiatives will take place. Opera di Santa Croce presents the new app "In Tuscany with Dante". On the same day, the Accademia della Crusca opens a virtual exhibition on the relationship between academics and Dante’s legacy.
The Bargello Museum is organizing two important exhibitions: Honorable and ancient citizen of Florence and The admirable vision. Dante and the Divine Comedy in the symbolist imagination. The choice of the Bargello is significant: in this medieval palace, which hosts the most ancient portrait of Dante, the sentence of Dante’s exile was issued.
As soon as Palazzo Vecchio will reopen, the famous "Allegorical Portrait of Dante", painted by Agnolo Bronzino around 1530, will be displayed again in the Salone de' Cinquecento, until May 31st. Dante700 is also expected to reopen: a beautiful exhibition showing us Dante and his places in the photos taken by Massimo Sestini, on show in Santa Maria Novella refectory.
The Uffizi Gallery is proposing an interesting online exhibition, "To rebehold the stars", dedicated to the sixteenth-century illustrations of the Divine Comedy by Federico Zuccari. The contemporary art exhibition by Giuseppe Penone will open in June and his open-air art installation in Piazza della Signoria has been inaugurated on March 25th. During the second half of the year, the Galileo Museum will propose the exhibition "Dall'Inferno all'Empireo - Il mondo di Dante tra scienza e poesia" (From Hell to the Empyrean – Dante’s world between science and poetry).
The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (the most important musical institution of Florence) is organizing some concerts conducted by Riccardo Muti in the three Dante’s cities: Ravenna, Verona and Florence (the Dante Symphonie by Franz List will be performed in Florence on September 13th); a new composition dedicated to Dante will be conducted by Zubin Mehta, on the inauguration of the New Auditorium of the Maggio Musicale Theatre.
The Italian Dante Society, the main libraries of the city (Medicea-Laurenziana, Riccardiana and Nazionale) and the archives (Archivio di Stato and Archivio Comunale) are planning a series of documentary exhibitions. A dance show called "Paradise Now" will be performed by Virgilio Sieni Company in Piazza della Signoria. An international production between theatre and dance, "Progetto Inferno", will be directed by Bob Wilson. New multimedia technologies are now available visiting the Museo Casa di Dante (Dante's house).
Not only Florence
Celebrating Dante means following his footsteps through the numerous places, also out of Tuscany, which were part of his life, and visiting cities of art and spectacular landscapes.
Dante's train. From 3 July to 10 October a historic train will ideally connect the hometown (Florence) with the burial place (Ravenna) of the great poet, crossing a splendid territory rich in Dante's memories, with four stops that will allow you to discover unique places such as Borgo San Lorenzo, Marradi, Brisighelle, Faenza. The service will take place every Saturday and Sunday (excluding 7 and 8 August). All the details will be available soon.
Tourist destinations strictly connected to the Supreme Poet (between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna) are gathered on the Website Le Vie di Dante, the only Italian project recommended by Lonely Planet as the Best in Travel 2021, in the category Sustainability. Even the Mugello administrators have dedicated a website to the Supreme Poet, Dante in Mugello, following his footsteps in this territory and putting him in relation with the various historical figures, protagonists of political and cultural events in the Mugello region. Scoprire e Vivere Dante is a project for all types of schools and universities, which includes itineraries and tourist routes in the provinces of Ravenna, Florence and Arezzo, especially along the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.