Contemporary Dante

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The presence of Dante in Ravenna is subtle, yet massive.

Many are the places dedicated to him, the ones he visited, in which he lived, and the ones that inspired him.

Over time, the city returned to the Supreme Poet that prestige of his presence and work, turning him into the source of inspiration and paying him homage, adding modern traces to his passage.

This one-day itinerary allows you to discover a contemporary Dante, showing all the artistic and cultural fervour this personality still inspires.

  • Length
    24 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop Ravenna

    Colourful, deep in thought, the face of Dante, with its 3 metres in height. It’s the street art work of the Brazilian Kobra in the very central Via Pasolini to start our one-day itinerary.

    After Chicago, London, Tokyo and a lot of other places all over the world, Kobra brought his art to the external wall of the primary school “Filippo Mordani”, creating a colourful and extremely contemporary mural in the heart of the ancient centre of Ravenna.

    The mural was created in 2017, during Subsidenze, a festival that in a few years has embellished the buildings and the streets of the city with more than eighty works, always visible.

    From the city dock to the Brancaleone fortress, from the sea to the city centre, a number of buildings ‘wear’ these – usually huge -  works of art, turning Ravenna into a little Romagna capital of street art as well as a reference point on a national level.

  • Second stop Ravenna

    Blub is an Italian artist who deals with street art in an alternative, ironic and tiny way that you can spot in thirty different places spread across the city.

    "L'arte sa nuotare" (“Art knows how to swim”) is a series of famous characters of history, represented by Blub underwater and with diving equipment. Marylin Monroe, Van Gogh, Magritte, Santa, Dalì and, as a good Florentine, he couldn’t miss the chance to pay homage to Dante Alighieri.

    In Via Armando Diaz, in the pedestrian area you reach coming from the station, you will find a Dante in profile, with his typical red dress and the laurel on, but also wearing a black diving mask. Behind the mask, he seems to be smiling.

    The itinerary is leading us to the "Zona del Silenzio" ("Area of Silence"), an area dedicated to the Supreme Poet. Maybe it’s for this reason that Dante’s holding his breath, leaving just a few bubbles, seems almost natural, as if he’s inviting us to silence and contemplation.

  • Third stop Ravenna

    A few minutes further on, at the end of Via Dante Alighieri, plain white, Dante’s tomb stands out, recently restored, along with the Quadrarco di Braccioforte and the contiguous Dante’s Museum.

    The whole area, including the Basilica of San Francesco, in which the solemn funerals were held, offers one of the most beautiful views in the city.

    Passing ancient flooring, little piazzas and porticoes, you can breathe in the tranquillity and the good living that characterizes Romagna.

  • Fourth stop Ravenna

    In the courtyard of the library “Alfredo Oriani”, in September, the month dedicated to Dante Alighieri, “Dante plus” takes place, a collective exhibition of works of art coming from all over the world.

    Very different artists from one another take part in this project, finding in the life and in the texts of the Supreme Poet the same inspiration. Cartoonists, sculptors, painters and illustrators at an international level find themselves reunited for a temporary and ultramodern gallery dedicated to Dante.

    If you want to see the works outside the period of the exhibition, you can contact Bonobolabo, leader of the project.

  • Fifth stop Ravenna

    The museum TAMO - All the adventure of the mosaic hides a lot of treasures and offers a series of guided tours, workshops and a multimedia experience.

    Just to give you a sneak peak: the courtyards of the museum, once the church of San Nicolò, hosts the section “Mosaics between Inferno and Paradiso”, a collection of 21 works on Dante, commissioned to great artists of the 20th century and translated into mosaics by artists of the mosaic schools of Ravenna.

  • Sixth stop Ravenna

    Turn on the headphones. The music starts. All around, people are unaware of what’s happening, of what you are listening to.

    The voice of Dante speaks and tells his story, of how he arrived in Ravenna, of what the city looked like in the past, of how he wasn’t just a man of letters but also a politician and a knight in battle. And then…

    This is only the beginning of “Silent Play for Dante”, an immersive walk across streets, squares, historical buildings and museums to discover the experiences of the Supreme Poet through his own voice, and through the voice of the city.

    Following an expert guide of Ravenna, you will explore for over an hour the history and the stories about Dante, walking from the Basilica of San Francesco to his tomb, from the Tamo museum to the Roof Gardens of Palazzo della Provincia.

    Wear the headphones and let yourself be carried away.

Last update 12/07/2023

For more information

Editorial board Ravenna

Information offices

IAT Ravenna
Piazza San Francesco, 7 - Ravenna (RA)
+ 39 0544 35755 + 39 0544 35404 Opening: all year round

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