A poetic tour of the birthplace of Renaissance
The capital of Tuscany, Florence will take you back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance eras, with its maze of backstreets, churches, and truly remarkable art. Follow the footsteps of prolific medieval poet and father of Italian literature, Dante Alighieri to discover the quintessential emblems of this romantic city. Author of The Divine Comedy, Inferno, and La Vita Nuova, Dante presence in Florence is almost everywhere, from commemorative plaques to quotes from his most renowned oeuvres carved in stone along the city’s streets.
Sasso di Dante
Dante wrote many of his poems on his favourite stone, the Sasso di Dante, on the Piazza del Duomo. There, he also witnessed the construction of Brunelleschi’s Duomo, beside the Baptistery of San Giovanni. Like Dante many years ago, you can sit next to his favourite spot and gaze at the Duomo Cathedral and the medieval houses surrounding the piazza. Visit the baptistery to admire its lavish golden mosaics and climb up to the dome of the Cathedral to admire Florence from above.
Chiesa di Santa Margherita dei Cerchi
Following via Santa Margherita behind the Duomo and its Museo dell’Opera del Duomo – which is also worth a visit to admire its marvellous sculptures by Michelangelo – head toward Santa Margherita de’Cerchi, an 11th-century church where a 9-year old Dante laid eyes on the love of his life, Beatrice Portinari, for the first time. Dante rarely spoke to her, but he loved her deeply all his life. Her death at the young age of 24 pushed the poet toward depression. Although he barely knew her, Beatrice remained Dante’s muse and inspired many of his love proses, such as the famous “Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona” (Love, which spares none of the loved from loving in return) from The Divine Comedy. Adjacent to Santa Margherita, you will find Dante’s House, a museum documenting the poet’s life and oeuvre.
Giardino di Boboli and Giardino delle rose
Immerse yourself in Dante’s poetry at the Giardino di Boboli, behind the Palazzo Pitti, the main residence of the powerful Florentine family, the Medici. Although not from Dante’s time, this Renaissance garden offers a perfect setting for a reflective and relaxing moment away from the busy Florentine streets. Sitting on a stone-bench under an alley, discover Dante’s proses and reflect upon them, surrounded by the garden’s lush and inspiring nature. Located uphill in the Oltrarno district, the Giardino delle rose is another serene location. Situated on the opposite side of the Arno River, you can access it by crossing the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence built in the Middle Ages. Once in the garden, you will admire the many roses flourishing in front of a spectacular view of the city and its prominent Duomo. You will conclude your day wandering around the Piazza della Republica, a gelato at hand, trying to imagine how the city looked in Dante’s time, excited to visit the Uffizi Galleries and a Santa Maria Novella the next day.