Dante Alighieri is undoubtedly the man of the moment with celebrations for his 700th anniversary bringing together many cultural organizations in paying homage to the Supreme Poet. There’s nowhere better to explore all things Dante than Florence, where he was born in 1265, lived (until his exile in 1302), and which features prominently in his much-loved masterpiece, the Divine Comedy. These tours take you through the sites and streets of significance for Dante and which lead you to discover the Florence that formed the world-renowned maestro.
Walk in Dante’s footsteps
Immerse yourself in the Florence that was familiar to the great poet in a six-hour guided tour that features the most notable sites related to Dante’s life in Florence. From a visit to his home that’s now the Casa di Dante Museum, to the Church of Santa Margherita dei Cerchi, a professional local guide casts light on life as it was in Dante’s time, stopping to admire the statues of the Supreme Poet as he speculates upon all of us who are reveling in his genius, seven centuries after his death.
The map of hell outlined in ‘Inferno’
Don’t have quite so much time? A Divine Half Day walking tour will equally bring you to discover much about Dante and his Divine Comedy. Your guide will give you all the anecdotes and details needed to colour your understanding of Dante, pointing out places and clues that reveal hidden secrets of the city. The tour includes the Baptistery with its remarkable Gates of Paradise, the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio.
A sight familiar to Dante: Torre della Castagna. Ph/ Deborah Nichele
If you’re seeking to delve even further into Dante, take a privately guided tour with an expert at your disposal, bringing you in Dante’s footsteps as you journey through his neighbourhood and the places of his education, passions and work, as well as uncovering life as it was in medieval times. Tracing his life through the narrow medieval streets with tower-houses looming above is an unforgettable way to catch glimpses of life as Dante knew it.
Deep dive into Dante
Step inside Dante’s House Museum to meet the poet in a multisensory journey
Discover Dante’s relationship with the city of Florence, from his love of Beatrice through to his exile, the good and bad memories he had of the city. The Dante district is at the center of this tour, with an English-speaking guide leading you in your exploration of the area, discovering the fascinating Church of Santa Margherita dei Cerchi where his muse, Beatrice, is said to be buried.
Religion and spirituality are of great importance in Dante’s works, and so, a trail to discover Dante is not complete without seeking out the sacred places linked to the life of the Supreme Poet. From the frescoes of the 14th century Spanish Chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella to the Church of Orsanmichele, take in the religious buildings that reveal the religious story of Dante.
The oldest public building in the city: the Bargello
Just as important to understanding Dante’s works is a knowledge of his life as a politician. His complicated relationship with Florence is only understood by learning about his political career and the dramatic events that culminated in his exile. Tour the political places that formed the great poet, taking in the Badia Fiorentina that was once the political, religious and economic center of Florence. Here, the magistrates of the Florentine Republic used to meet as well as the Priors, an office held by Dante himself. Continue on to the Bargello, the oldest public building in the city, where you can find a portrait of the Supreme Poet in the Chapel of Mary Magdalene. And of course, no political tour of Florence is complete with Palazzo Vecchio that is still today the seat of political power in the city and home to Dante’s funerary mask.
With the medieval streets of Florence still largely preserved, the city often feels suspended in time, meaning any trail to trace Dante gives an incredibly immersive impression of Dante’s time. Your reading and understanding of his works will be enhanced after embarking on one of these unforgettable tours.