Strolling around Florence, it is easy to come across numerous commemorative plaques placed on the walls of palaces, churches and tower-houses. Many of these are Dante's plaques, real commemorative monuments that, for more than a century now, have adorned the historic center, transporting us back, as if by magic, to 14th-century Florence, celebrated in Dante's Divine Comedy.
The project of the plaques dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when a commission of historians and Dante scholars undertook a long research to identify the exact places mentioned in the various cantos of Dante's Comedy. The plaques were placed as early as 1907, and in 1913, they were illustrated for the first time in Ida Riedisser's English publication 'Inscriptions from Dante's Divine Comedy in the Streets of Florence', designed for the city's foreign visitors.
Following this itinerary - thanks to these veritable “talking stones” - citizens and tourists will be able to retrace places and historical events where Dante was often a protagonist, and which also highlight the difficult relationship he had with his native city. In fact, each plaque contains a quotation from one of the three cantica: 9 from the Inferno, 5 from the Purgatorio and 19 from the Paradiso, for a total of 33 plaques, which refer to places in the city, real events and illustrious citizens of the time.
Below, we illustrate each stage of this itinerary. Besides the specific quotations, all the plaques are accompanied by brief comments and photos to help you discover places, people and events mentioned in the Divine Comedy.
For further information, see the itineraries Florence at the time of Dante and the Florentine tower-houses.