During a trip to New York, a young Mario Casalini mistakenly parked in front of a fire hydrant. Appearing in court, he found himself before a judge with Italian heritage who offered to waive the penalty if Mario could recite the first canto of the Divine Comedy. Mario, of course, could and did!
Whether it is statues, inscriptions or stories linked to specific locations, in Florence there is no escaping Dante's presence. The same can be said for the rest of the country: Dante is a key and permanent feature on school curricula, allusions to his work regularly appear in commentaries on current affairs, and most people have the seemingly innate ability to quote him in everyday conversation!
Inside Casalini Libri, add weighty tomes containing exquisite facsimiles and an unending stream of studies to be catalogued on every aspect of his life and work... To mark this special anniversary, we thought it would be entertaining to find out what it is that our Casalini colleagues associate most with Dante and how they would describe him.
Curious? Have a look at the outcome and see if you agree!
Dante and usWhether it's radio stations, video games, themed ice cream, family fun or familiar words and phrases, we can collectively confirm Dante's continuing influence and presence, 700 years on!
Memories of school, studying and adolescence are common connections with Dante, from recollections of reading "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" inscribed above the liceo entrance, to exercises in paraphrasing the Divine Comedy, field trips in the poet's footsteps and the Dantean exclamations of exasperated parents.
But our relationship with Dante doesn't end there. Many of us have discovered a new affinity with the poet as adults: it appears that we are more able to appreciate Dante's journey midway through our own paths in life!
We've even discovered a little-known and mysterious fact about Florence: when it rains, the unmistakable profile of the poet can be seen on one of the paving stones near the entrance to the museum that was once his home. We can't wait to go to see it for ourselves!
Print your own copy of our special Dantedì 2021 word art here.
More to come throughout the year...Stay tuned as during the remainder of this anniversary year we'll also be selecting the best new publications on Dante in all his many varied aspects and influences.
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