|Dante Alighieri is buried in a mausoleum in the
centre of Ravenna, Italy. (See
map...ref no. 10)
Dante was born into a Florentine family affiliated to the Guelf
At the age of nine (as detailed in La Vita Nuova) Dante
met and fell in love with Bice Portinari. She later became the wife
of Simone de' Bardi while Dante married Gemma Donati.
However in 1290 Bice died and Dante was grief stricken. Bice was the
model for Beatrice who featured in much of Dante's early love poetry
and was also his guide in the final volume of The Divine Comedy -
From 1295 onwards Dante became active in the political life of
Florence and became a prominent member of the White Guelf party.
While he was in Rome negotiating with Pope Boniface VIII,
the Black Guelfs seized power and Dante was condemned to exile. In
fact, he never returned to Florence. At first he moved to Verona but
then wandered for a number of years before settling finally in
While living in Ravenna Dante began
writing The Divine Comedy. He completed it shortly before his
death in 1321. The epic poem, written in
was made up of three separate volumes: Inferno, Purgatorio
and Paradiso. In the first two volumes Dante is led through
the layers of hell and purgatory by the roman poet Virgil.
The Divine Comedy drew upon Dante's knowledge of
philosophy, astronomy, natural science and history.
Dante's work was a profound influence on modernist poet
There is also a
cenotaph to Dante at Santa Croce church in Florence.