The footsteps of Dante in VeniceBig Names
The footsteps of Dante in Venice
The Florentine poet Dante Alighieri is considered one of the greatest poets of all time and continues to fascinate the world, despite being dead for almost 700 years.
Perhaps not everyone knows that Dante, during his travels in exile away from his beloved Florence, he also visited Venice. The great poet of the Divine Comedy visited Venice in early 1321 as an ambassador of Guido Novello da Polenta, lord of Ravenna. He was the guest of one of the most influential nobles of the time, Giovanni Soranzo, and even now you can read a plaque on the front of the beautiful Gothic palace of the Soranzo family, which faces on the right side of the beautiful Campo San Polo that reminds us of him.
Dante was very impressed by Venice, but above all he was inspired by the Arsenal, the shipyard where the Venetians created their incredible fleet and which at that time was in full swing. In fact, in the twenty-first canto of the Inferno, to explain the punishment reserved for swindlers, the immersion in boiling pitch, Dante evokes an image of the Venice Arsenal:
Quale nell'Arzanà de' Viniziani
bolle l'inverno la tenace pece
a rimpalmare i legni lor non sani […]
These three quotes of Dante can be read on a plaque placed on the left of the main entrance of the Arsenal and on the right of the big front door you can also admire a bronze bust of the great poet. Dante's visit to Venice was unintentionally the cause of his death, because on the way back, passing near the Valli di Comacchio, Dante contracted malaria, which killed him in Ravenna September 14, 1321.
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