Dante nello spazio: Samantha Cristoforetti reads Paradiso from the International Space Station

In celebration of the 750th anniversary of Dante’s birth, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti read from the first canto of Paradiso in a transmission aired from the International Space Station. The reading was aired at the Odeon Cinema in Florence on April 24, 2015.

Watch the transmission on YouTube here.

Read coverage from the Corriere fiorentino here.

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“Dante Turns 750”

Kleiner-Dante-Turns-Seven-Hundred-and-Fifty-690In an essay for the New Yorker in late May 2015 – the approximate date of the 750th anniversary of Dante’s birth – John Kleiner (Williams College) offers reflections on Dante’s enduring hold on the Italian imagination:

“Dante’s seven-hundred-and-fiftieth birthday is sometime in the coming month—he was born, he tells us in Paradisounder the sign of Gemini—and, to mark the occasion, more than a hundred events are planned. These include everything from the minting of a new two-euro coin, embossed with the poet’s profile, to a selfie-con-Dante campaign. (Cardboard cutouts of the poet are being set up in Florence, and visitors are encouraged to post pictures of themselves with them using the hashtag #dante750.) There’s talk of extending the celebrations to 2021, the seven-hundredth anniversary of the poet’s death.”  —  John Kleiner, “Dante Turns Seven Hundred and Fifty,” The New Yorker