Dantedì: Italy pays tribute to Dante with national day

Rome: Italy marked the fifth edition of Dantedì, the national day dedicated to Dante Alighieri, this week.

The annual event in honour of the mediaeval poet and philosopher – known as the Father of the Italian language – follows the 700th anniversary of his death in 2021.

A programme of Dante-themed events will take place across Italy on the day, from readings and conferences to documentary screenings and theatrical productions.

25 March was chosen for Dantedì as it is the date given by scholars for the start of the journey to the afterlife in Dante’s epic, The Divine Comedy.

The long narrative poem represents a 14th-century vision of the afterlife, describing Dante’s journey through the three realms of the dead: Inferno (hell), Purgatorio (purgatory) and Paradiso (heaven).

Dante, who began composing the groundbreaking trilogy in or around 1308, wrote the poem’s 14,233 lines in the vernacular, opting for the Tuscan dialect which was accessible to the masses rather than the traditional Latin reserved for the most educated readers.

Some of the Dantedì initiatives to look forward to in Rome include an exhibition at MAXXI that narrates Dante’s Inferno through a visual and multimedia journey, and two special Dante-themed events at the Pantheon.