Monster Children – The Gates of Hell


Photo by Kealan Shilling

Rumour has it, this entrance leads to seven layers of interconnecting tunnels (the seven layers of hell) and that somewhere within them, is a room where you come face to face with Lucifer himself.

The ‘Gates of Hell,’ is a series of water runoffs and underground tunnels located in Clifton, about an hour outside of downtown Manhattan.

“We passed several dry, smaller openings and eventually we came to a larger room with three tunnels, one of which smells a bit and is marked comedically, ‘…not the gate to hell…'”    — Kealan Shilling, Monster Children, May 25, 2016

Summer Exhibition of Marble Carvings at the Casa Galiano (2018)

The Casa Galiano (East Brunswick, NJ) presents an outdoor exhibition of 18 marble carvings of the Divine Comedy. The carvings are on exhibit in summer and fall 2018. For more information, visit the Casa Galiano website.


Virgil and the pilgrim meet Farinata

While visiting, be sure to check out the Dante Sculpture Garden and Wall Mural, featured on Dante Today here.

Contributed by Dino Galiano

“Dante and Virgil Attend an Exhibition,” Caricatures by Antonio Manganaro at Princeton University

“Since Dante’s Divine Comedy (Divina Commedia) first appeared in 1320, visual artists have been rethinking Dante’s trip into hell with Virgil as his guide. Eugène Delacroix chose the subject for his first major painting, The Barque of Dante, also known as Dante and Virgil in Hell, which introduced the artist at the Salon of 1822. A few years later, William Blake drew visions of the Divine Comedy in London while G.G. Macchiavelli did the same in Bologna. William-Adolphe Bouguereau painted Dante and Virgil in Hell in 1850; Edgar Degas finished Dante and Virgil at the Entrance to Hell in 1858; and Gustave Doré financed his own Inferno in 1861, finishing the trilogy in 1868.

“In the wake of Doré’s popularity, the Italian caricaturist Antonio Manganaro (1842-1921) translated Dante’s epic to his own era, imagining what would happen if Dante and Virgil attended the opening of The International Maritime Exhibition held in Naples in 1871. Manganaro’s rare lithographic volume, recently acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection, includes plenty of ghosts, fish, and wine.” — “Dante and Virgil Attend an Exhibition,” Website of the Graphic Arts Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University (May 20, 2017)

Clinton Road, New Jersey

Urban legend has it that this road has been witness to numerous ill-fated events, ranging from accidents to the occult and the criminal.  See the wikipedia page.  Photo by Bryan Calvo.

Contributed by Bryan Calvo (Harvard, ’19)

Daily Dante Blog

“Welcome to Daily Dante, a blogging adventure that follows the pilgrim Dante through his journey to hell and back, as we savor the poet Dante’s masterpiece The Divine Comedy.

Daily-Dante-Lenten-Spiritual-Discipline-BlogDaily Dante is a collaborative blog, written by a motley band of Dantophiles living in the Princeton, NJ area. We began during Lent of 2010, when we adopted blogging as a Lenten discipline: a canto a day (excepting Sundays, which technically do not count as Lent), which conveniently allowed us to finish more or less just before Easter. We have completed Inferno, and Purgatorio, and finished blogging through Paradiso during Lent 2012.” — homepage of Daily Dante: Dante as Lenten Spiritual Discipline


Paul William Bear Brewer, “Opening Dante’s Gate” (2012)

bear-brewer-cover“Columbia University Physics professor, Andrea Mandola, discovers that a near Earth passing of Mars in 3000 B.C. explains the mysteries behind the construction of the pyramids, Noah’s flood, ancient civilizations’ worship of Mars, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and proves Dante’s Gate to Hell actually existed. Using her knowledge of physics and a handsome colleague’s passion for Dante, Andrea’s team uncovers and activates Dante’s Gate. When one of Andrea’s team steps through the Gate his entire life on Earth is erased and the world is forever changed. Dante’s Gate blurs the lines between historical fiction, science fiction thriller and technothriller genres. The book intertwines stories covering 5000 years of history, throws in a little romance and builds to to a suspenseful climax in present day New Jersey.”    —Amazon

Engraved Wall Murals and Sculpture Garden at Casa Galiano, NJ

engraved-wall-murals-casa-galiano“Now on exhibit is an engraved marble wall mural of Dante Alighieri’s INFERNO based on 70 images by nineteenth century French engraver Gustave Doré. Accompanying each scene is a corresponding verse and title in Italian with English translation. The pictorial images and lettering were burnt into the surface of black marble tiles using a laser engraving machine. The mural covers 205 square feet , the main section being 8′-6″ high by 22′-0″ long and consists of marble tiles mounted on sixteen removable wood panels. Located at Casa Galiano (the artist’s residence in East Brunswick, NJ) the mural hangs on the east wall of an art gallery addition. Each image has a specific verse chosen to best describe the scene. The mural is presented in chronological order from left to right so that the viewer can follow Dante’s journey from the dark wood to the frozen Satan. It is the artist’s intention to showcase the imagination, language and poetry of Dante’s INFERNO fused with the dramatic visual detailed artwork of Gustave Doré.”    –Dino Galiano


“A sculpture garden features high relief marble carvings depicting scenes from Dante’s Divine Comedy. The centerpiece is a solid marble sculpture entitled, The Commedia Block, which is carved on all four sides showing the divisions of Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso as well as portraits of Dante, Virgil and Beatrice.”    —Casa Galiano

See Casa Galiano to learn more and see additional photos.


Contributed by Dino Galiano

Jacob Landau, “The Holocaust Suite and Dante’s Inferno”


“My work has been obsessed by the figure… not only an object, but also and principally as a symbol expressive of our common predicament, of the beauty and horror of existence…. I am interested in art as advocacy of the human, as revelation of the tragic, as hope of transcendence.”    –Jacob Landau, Kean Galleries

On loan from the Jacob Landau Collection at Monmouth University

See also “Art Transcends Consciousness at the Human Rights Institute” (Kean Xchange)

Fiat 500 in the U.S.

fiat-500-in-the-us “FOR fans of Italian cars — those with positive recollections, anyway — the high-profile introduction of the Fiat 500 to the United States this year holds the promise of a long-awaited brand renaissance. But for the 500 to be a genuine success, paving the way for a full line of European driver’s cars to follow, its appeal would have to be more durable than a pretty face and an attractive body. My quest to plumb the 500’s inner beauty recently took me on a long drive that included stops in Naples, Verona, Florence, Rome and Venice. . .
Next up, Dante’s autobahn — the New Jersey Turnpike, where treacherous merges and construction projects large enough to be seen from outer space were made all the more entertaining by an afternoon of ark-building rain. But the Fiat was absolutely composed: precise steering, no hydroplaning and brakes that grabbed more aggressively than Tony Soprano at the Bada Bing.” […]    –Towle Tompkins, The New York Times, May 20, 2011

Dante Hall Theater, Atlantic City, NJ

dante-hall-theater-atlantic-city-nj“Located in the heart of the historic ‘Ducktown’ neighborhood of Atlantic City, Dante Hall was originally built in 1926 by St. Michael’s Catholic Church. Dante Hall served the predominantly Italian-American community of the neighborhood as a church hall, school gymnasium, and community theater where both school plays and the St. Michael’s Opera Company staged performances. When St. Michael’s closed its parish school in the late 1980s, Dante Hall remained dormant until an eighteen-month, $3.5 million renovation, funded solely by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, was completed in October of 2003. Renamed ‘Dante Hall Theater of the Arts,’ this beautifully restored and intimate performance space reopened with the promise of renewing the tradition of serving the Atlantic City and surrounding communities as a home for the performing arts. In 2011, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey took control of the theater. By providing quality programming and performances to local communities, Stockton College and Dante Hall Theater aim to strengthen New Jersey’s efforts of restoring Atlantic City to a cultural and family destination.”    —Dante Hall Theater