Casa di Dante

Casa di Dante (16)

At the corner of Via Dante and Via Santa Margherita visitors will find what is known as Casa Dante. Don't get too excited by the find, however, because while it is said that this is where the famous poet was born, the truth is that it is not known for sure. In addition, the original buildings that stood here have disappeared and the ensemble you see today is a Gothic style construction built between 1875 and 1910. The only genuinely old element you'll find here is the tower dating from the 13th century. 

Anyhow, while it would not qualify as one of the city's essential attractions, the interior ,which houses a small museum dedicated to the life and works of Dante, is worth a visit, . The ground floor rooms also house exhibitions of modern art and sculpture.  

On another note, very close to this building you will find the small church of Santa Margherita, which has a history that will delight the more romantic visitors. It was in this church that Dante, only 9 years old at the time, met Beatrice Portinari, daughter of a Florentine nobleman, and immediately fell in love. However, Beatriz was already pledged to a wealthy banker and Dante, despite his young age, had already been offered the hand of Gemma Donati. Beatriz ended up marrying her fiancé in 1283 and died seven years later. And Dante married Gemma Donati in 1295, also in the church of Santa Margherita. But the poet never forgot the young Beatriz, to the point where in his most famous work, "The Divine Comedy", she is portrayed as his saviour and presented as the epitome of perfection. 

Is that not a wonderful love story? 

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