Dante readings in nature and historical locales in Carnia (Friuli), Italy (2021)

“Dante in Carnia / Folc lu ardi chel Dante” is a program of public readings of the Divine Comedy in fascinating places in the Friulian mountains (Carnia). The readings, also in Friulian, are inspired by the popular diffusion of Dante from the unification of Italy to the first postwar period.”   –Silvia Tullio Altan


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Contributed by Silvia Tullio Altan

India’s Covid Wards are Like Scenes From Dante’s Inferno


“Ward rounds are now scenes from Dante’s Inferno. Row upon row of patients waging a desperate struggle to breathe, their cries for help often falling on deaf ears as overworked medical staff struggle just to keep going.” [. . .]    –Zarir Udwadia, The Financial Times, April 29, 2021

Florence hosts ‘re-trial’ of Dante

“Is justice delayed justice denied, or is it a case of better late than never? The poet Dante, author of the Divine Comedy, is being given a re-trial designed to posthumously clear his name.” []    —Deutsche Welle, May 21, 2021

COVID-19: Indians Going Through Nine Circles of Hell

“Akin to how characters in Dante’s poem paid for their sins in hell, Indians are paying with their lives during a pandemic for electing a government that is utterly incompetent and bigoted. [. . .]

“Dante and his imaginary guide Virgil were travelling through nine circles of hell on their way to heaven. Hell was used as a metaphor for human suffering for sins committed on earth. Although the punishment was severe, Dante’s poem portrayed them as fair and proportionate to the sins committed. The sufferings in India are not imaginary, but real, taking place while people are still alive, and most importantly, whatever their sins are, the fairness and proportionately of the punishments are definitely questionable. Yet the reference is fair and this column is designed to explain why.

“India is now in the proverbial ‘Ante-Inferno’ with a clear inscription written all over her, ‘Abandon all hope, you who enter here.’ India is now the case study of ‘what not to do’ in a pandemic, thanks to the conceit, egotism, and self-approbation of the Modi government.” [. . .]    –Debasish Chakraborty, The Wire, May 20, 2021

Italy to Launch Dante Train

“Vintage steam train to take tourists on a slow journey through the landscapes of Tuscany and Emilia Romagna on the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death.” [. . .]    —Wanted in Rome, June 7, 2021

Infiorata di Noto, Omaggio a Dante (2021)


“L’infiorata di Noto is an annual event in Noto, Sicilia, which creates an extended street design made entirely of flowers. This year’s design is dedicated to the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death.”   –Contributor Kate McKee

“La 42esima Infiorata di via Nicolaci si farà e sarà un omaggio a Dante Alighieri. Si svolgerà dal 14 al 16 maggio, nel massimo rispetto delle normative anticontagio da Covid-19, privilegiando ancora una volta il messaggio di forza, speranza e resilienza che Noto vuole mandare al Mondo intero, come già successo con l’edizione 2020 dal tema ‘La Bellezza è più Forte della Paura’.”   —Infiorata di Noto website (accessed May 17, 2021)

The theme of this year’s annual festival is “E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle,” which, as the above citation explains, celebrates the strength, hope, and resilience of Noto in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contributed by Kate McKee (Bowdoin College ’22)

Bust of Dante, Northwestern State University of Louisiana (Natchitoches, LA)

Contributed by Robert Jones (Louisiana State University, Alexandria ’19)

“Tolmin to remember Dante’s 14th century visit”

“Tolmin [Slovenia], 25 April – Tolmin, a north-western town near the border with Italy, will join this year’s events marking the 700th anniversary of Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s death by remembering his alleged visit to the area in 1319 upon invitation of Aquileia patriarch Pagano della Torre.

“Dante (1265-1321) will get a memorial board with the legend about the visit while also being remembered as part of an exhibition at the Tolmin Museum which opens in June.”   —STA, 2021
Read the full article here.

“Naples Celebrates Dante With Giant Easter Egg”

naples-celebrates-easter-with-giant-easter-egg-2021“Naples continues to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri, the Father of the Italian language, in its own unique way. After creating Dante figurines for Christmas cribs, the southern Italian city is now devoting an out-sized Easter tradition to the Supreme Poet, reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Master chocolatiers at the historic Gay-Odin factory in Naples have created a two-metre high Easter egg decorated with a portrait of Dante along with some verses from The Divine Comedy. The mediaeval poet and philosopher is portrayed on the enormous egg – which boasts 300 kilos of chocolate – in his traditional red robes and laurel wreath, based on the fresco in the Duomo in Florence.” [. . .]    —WantedInRome, March 21, 2021.

UCLA’s Dante in the Americas

“The literary appropriation of Dante over the last century has been enormous. His influence has been front and center in all major modern literary traditions—from T.S. Eliot to William Butler Yeats, from Albert Camus to Jean-Paul Sartre, from Jorge Luis Borges to Derek Walcott, from Giorgio Bassani to Giuseppe Ungaretti. Why such fascination? What are the textual characteristics of Dante’s Commedia that make it an ideal vehicle for literary appropriation, thereby allowing it to enjoy a sustained cultural afterlife? What, moreover, are the more accidental factors (e.g., taste, world view, political agenda, religious, and mystical convictions) which account for the popularity of Dante—after 300 years of neglect during which the Florentine poet was relegated to the shadows of Petrarch and his works—among artists, novelists, poets, playwrights, and cinematographers? This symposium, co-organized by Professor Massimo Ciavolella (Italian, UCLA), Professor Efraín Kristal (Comparative Literature, UCLA), and Heather Sottong (Italian, UCLA), considers these questions, concentrating on Dante’s influence in North America and especially in Latin America.”   —UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, 2011