Celebrate Dante’s 700th Anniversary in Ravenna
Emilia Romagna’s city of Ravenna will be celebrating the 700th anniversary of the death of the Supreme Poet, Dante, throughout 2021.
To commemorate this important anniversary, the UNESCO-listed city will be hosting a variety of events next year for visitors to learn all about one of the world’s most famous poets, including special events, concerts and, of course, readings of Dante’s iconic Divine Comedy.
Ravenna, also known as “Italy’s city of mosaics” due to its exquisite collection of Byzantine montages, is a treasure chest of art, history and culture – with eight UNESCO historic buildings. Dante found Ravenna to be the ideal place to complete the Divine Comedy and, as the home of his tombstone, the city has been preserving the poet’s memory for seven centuries after his death in 1321.
Dante’s 700th anniversary programme will mainly take place in Ravenna, located just one hour away from Emilia Romagna’s capital city of Bologna. Some of the key 2021 evens are:
- Exhibition: “Inclusa est flamma” at Ravenna’s Classense Library. Curated by Benedetto Gugliotta, the display features precious and rare editions of posters, photographs, paintings and art objects conferred as a tribute to Dante. This is the first of three exhibitions that make up the project “Dante. The eyes and the mind”. From now until 10 January 2020.
- Festival: “Dantedì”, Italy’s national day dedicated to Dante. This year, thousands of Italians met on social media to read together passages of the Divine Comedy. In 2021 the festival is expected to be done live in Ravenna. Date: 25 March 2021.
- Exhibition: “Dante. The eyes and the mind” will display sumptuary works, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts and paintings from the time of Dante’s exile from 1302. Dates: 5 March to 4 July 2021.
- Event: “The Divine Comedy 2017-2021 show”, a public reading of Dante’s famous poem. In 2021, it will be the turn of “Paradiso”, the third part of the Divine Comedy. Dates: June and July 2021.
- Classical music concert of Franz Liszt’s Fantasia quasi Sonata, featuring Yulianna Avdeeva as pianist. This work of programme music was inspired by the reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Date: 5 September 2021.
- Event: “Divine Comedy in the world”, an English version of Dante’s best-known work, where he described his descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide, his ascent of Mount Purgatory, and his arrival in Heaven. Date: 25 September 2021.
- Event: “Classensi Readings: Dante’s language, history and modernity”, readings of Dante’s work by those who have spent their careers studying the life of the poet. Back in the day, Dante decided to write his verses in the Tuscan dialect – in a time when poetry was generally composed in Latin. Dates: November and December 2021.
Beyond the special events programme scheduled for 2021, visitors can get an immersion into Dante’s life by following Dante’s Walk. This two-day itinerary can be done any time of the year and visits the towns of Ravenna, San Benedetto in Alpe and Brisighella – all of them connected to the poet through his writings. Visitors will be taken onto a cultural, artistic, historical and spiritual journey to the places where the poet stayed, influencing his life and his literary production.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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