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Italy Commemorates Dante Alighieri, their Most Celebrated Poet from the Middle Ages

Anno Dantesco in 2021

08 December 2020 | TMA

In 2021, Italy will commemorate the 700th anniversary of the passing of the nation’s poet, Dante Alighieri, renowned as the author of the Christian epic The Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia) and known as the father of the Italian language. Dante is a medieval poet born in Florence, the Italian region of Tuscany in 1265 and died September 14, 1321 in Ravenna, Italy.

The commemorative year will be known as Anno Dantesco and will celebrate the life and works of Dante in events throughout Italy, especially in Florence where Dante was born and Ravenna where he passed away in exile. Museums are also planning special exhibitions that will display art themed on his works and portray his life. Some of the panel discussion and conferences will be offered online. The Dante Society of America (DSA) and other medieval societies in North America as well as Italian Departments or Medieval programs at universities may also offer special events.

Dante’s Tomb in Ravenna, see

University of Toronto, for instance, has created The Toronto Salutes Dante project in which Inferno is read in 30 different languages including Indigenous languages for the first time:

In addition, many Museums have made their special exhibits available online, such as “Echos of Dante” at Uffizi and its special virtual exhibition on Dante (; Casa di Dante (Dante’s House):; The British Library: and; and “Dante: The Invention of Celebrity” at The Ashmolean, Oxford (

Quardeni d'Italianistica, the Official Journal for the Canadian Association of Italian Studies will publish a special edition focused on Purgatory, the second cantica of The Divine Comedy, see Vol. 41 No. 2 (2020): Purgatori della letteratura italiana a cura di Fabio Camilletti (in Italian).

Use these materials to discuss a canto in High School; consider the text in various theoretical approaches and consider Dante’s use of rhetorical language (allegory, simile). A good translation is Mark Musa's translation of the poem in three volumes.

See also AGO Exhibit in 2013: “Florence at the Time of Dante and Giotto,; BOOk Availble: George W. Dameron is Professor of History at St. Michael's College, Colchester, Vermont. He is the author of Florence and Its Church in the Age of Dante.

Mark Musa, Purgatory, vol. 2 of The Divine Comedy


How to cite this blog:

TMA Staff. "Italy Commemorates Dante Alighieri, their Most Celebrated Poet from the Middle Ages: Anno Dantesco in 2021" Teaching the Middle Ages, December 8, 2020; revised August 2022;

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