Be sure to visit the Baptistery of St. John, where Dante was baptised. It is stunning — Dante described it as “my beautiful San Giovanni”
In Dante’s Inferno, the inscription over the gates of Hell reads "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate", most frequently translated as "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” The same cannot be said for delightful Dante’s Quarter in Florence: here Italy pays tribute to its beloved poet, often considered as the founder of modern Italian literature, with museums, streets and galleries.
Home and Away
Dante’s family owned several houses where you can now find the Casa di Dante. This museum is filled with copies of the Divine Comedy, alongside portraits and documents celebrating Dante’s life, divided into three parts: his youth and public life, his painful exile, and his influence over the centuries since. Moreover, this part of Florence has some lovely examples of Medieval architecture, including the Chestnut Tower and the church of San Martino.
Never Cross an Artist
Born in 1265 in Florence, Dante Alighieri was partial to using autobiographical details in his works. In the pages of The Divine Comedy and La Vita Nuova you will find real people and street names from Medieval Florence. Like any artist worth his salt, he could be a bit catty. When Dante was exiled from Florence after choosing the wrong side in a political clash, his rival Filippo Argenti allegedly helped himself to Dante’s possessions. For his sins he ended up in the river Styx, in the fifth circle of hell, his name smeared to this day.
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