Dante Alighieri and Verona

Dante Alighieri and Verona: 700th anniversary of the death.

Dante Alighieri and Verona will celebrate in few years with great pomp the great poet. Its most illustrious acquired citizen. In 2021 will fall the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri. The Supreme Italian Poet created the Divine Comedy, a monument to the Italian language and civilization. Dante was born in Florence in 1265, but he was banished and exiled from his city. He stayed for a long time in Verona, making friend with Congrande I della Scala and then died, by chance, in Ravenna.

These are the three most important cities in his life. In Verona, where his sons lived, there are still numerous traces of his long stay. Verona boasts, in fact, the oldest library in the world, The Capitolare Library, which traces its origin before the fall of the Western Roman Empire (IV century). And finally where both Dante spent his days reading and discussing.

Dante Alighieri, in the 17th canto of Paradise, meets his ancestor, Cacciaguida, who foretells his exile. “You will feel how the bread of others tastes of salt/ and how hard it is to ascent on other people stairs”. And, immediately afterwards, he introduces the one who will welcome him into his house. The Great Lombard, Bartolomeo Della Scala. Lord of Verona and elder brother of Cangrande, who will treat him as a brother.

Then he speaks to him of Cangrande saying that, having been born under the sign of Mars, therefore, he will accomplish great things, but he imposed silence on Dante who listens to him, incredulous.

The history

Maurizio Brunelli, a historian from Verona, thinks he had grasped the need to of being silent. What Dante and Cangrande were planning was the reunification of an Italy torn apart by internal struggles and factions. Under the Scaliger arms and the aegis of the Empire, placing then Italy’s new capital in Verona.

This would have been the logical continuation of the policy initiated by Frederick II of Swabia. Infact Cangrande had married his natural great-granddaughter.

At the beginning of the fourth decade of the 14th century. Eventually the Scaliger a very rich and extended state beyond the territory of the Marca Trevigiana, reaching as far as the Tyrrhenian Sea, with Massa, Lucca and Parma.