Hypertext links are to the map [2D], to Americo Parrini, in C. Danyell Tassinari's translation, With Dante in Florence (Florence; Giannini, 1930/IX), to the oral readings by Carlo Poli, , to the poem, INF XV. I am in the photos because we needed to measure the height of the plaques by comparison for getting an estimate for their cleaning. Click on red arrow below for soundtrack of reading.
Versione in italiano

Click on the photographs of the plaques to enlarge them.


THE STONES OF FLORENCE


LE LAPIDI DANTESCHE IN FIRENZE

In 1900, the City of Florence decided to place plaques throughout the historic centre of Florence citing the relevant lines of Dante's poem.

Map 1C, Parrini V, Tassinari V. In via Cerretani, on the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Oral reading 1


     




Brunetto Latino teaching Guido Cavalcanti, Dante Alighieri, e Francesco da Barberino his Tesoro in the 1280s following the Sicilian Vespers. Brunetto taught them Cicero, Aristotle, Lucan, Alfraganus, whom he translated into first French, then Italian, in training them in 'Buon Governo', Good Government, with integrity. Brunetto defined government as the love of God and neighbour,that the 'podestà', who was elected from a different city, and who was quartered with his judges, notaries, soldiers and servants, in the Bargello, was sworn to uphold justice, to execute the City's statutes, to protect widows and orphans, merchants and pilgrims, to repair roads and bridges, to defend the citizens in war and peace, for their common prosperity.
. . . IN LA MENTE M'E FITTA, E OR M'ACCORA, 
LA CARA E BVONA IMAGINE PATERNA
DI VOI, QVANDO NEL MONDO AD ORA AD ORA
M'INSEGNAVATE COME L'VOM S'ETERNA!
                                                
. . . in my mind ia fixed, and touches now
My heart the dear and good paternal image
Of you when in the world from hour to hour
You taught me how a man becomes eternal.                                                        

                                                              INF. XV.82-85
The tomb of Brunetto Latino, Dante's teacher, a column, is now in the chapel to the left in Santa Maria Maggiore. It used to be among the tombs beneath the sculpture of the Annunciation, formerly on the exterior wall of Santa Reparata, now on the Duomo wall by the Giotto Tower, which demarked the burials of the members of the Compagnia dei Laudesi of Otsanmichele. Brunetto's Tesoretto and Tesoro are used by Dante throughout his Commedia,.and these sculptures in Purgatorio X.



Arnolfo di Cambio, Annunciation, formerly in Santa Maria Maggiore. Florence's New Year began at the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25. Dante similarly dates his magnum opus, the Commedia, as initiating at that date, 1300, where it coincided with Good Friday, conjoining Death and Conception. Guido Cavalcanti was to die in August, 1300. Beatrice had died in 1290, at the time of the loss of the Jerusalem Kingdom, the Fall of Saint Jean d'Acre taking place in 1291, events which colour the Vita Nuova with grief.



Giroldo da Como, Annunciation, for the tombs of the Orsanmichele Compagnia dei Laudesi that were in the Piazza San Giovanni, as George Eliot describes them in Romola, Boccaccio telling the story of Guido Cavalcanti leaping over the tombs- This sculpture was formerly on the exterior of Santa Reparata, now of the Duomo.
 

Map 2B, Parrini VI, Tassinari VI. In Via Tornabuoni, 1, formerly Via dei Belli, on the Gianfigliazzi palace. Oral reading 2

    
                        GIANFIGLIAZZI
. . . COM’IO RIGVARDANDO TRA LOR VEGNO,
IN VNA BORSA GIALLA VIDI AZZVRRO
CHE D'VN LEONE AVEA FACCIA E CONTEGNO

And as I gazing round me come among them,
Upon a yellow pouch I azure saw
That had the face and posture of a lion.
                                                                INF. XVII.58-60
Map 2C, Parrini XXVIII, Tassinari XXVIII. In Borgo SS. Apostoli, 6 nero, on the Buondelmonte palace. Oral reading 3

  
             
O BVONDELMONTE . . . . . .
MOLTI SAREBBER LIETE, CHE SON TRISTI,
SE DIO T'AVESSE CONCEDVTO AD EMA
LA PRIMA VOLTA CH'A CITTÀ VENISTI.

O Buondelmonte . . .
Many would be rejoicing who are sad,
If God had surrendered thee to the Ema
The first time that thou camest to the city.
                                                                PAR. XVI.140-144
Map 3C, Parrini XXVI, Tassinari XXVI. In Borgo SS. Apostoli, 4 rosso, sulla Torre dei Baldovinetti. Oral reading 4 ♫ 

Non trovato/Not found
GIA ERAN GUALTEROTTI ED IMPORTUNI
E ANCOR SARIA BORGO PIU QUIETO
SE DI NOVI VICIN FOSSER DIGIUNI

Already were Gualterotti ed Importuni
And still more quiet would the Borgo be
If with new neighbours it remained unfed
                                                                PAR. XVI.133-135
Map 3C, Parrini XXVII, Tassinari XXVII. In Por S. Maria, 11 rosso, on the Amidei tower. Oral reading 5

     
                             AMIDEI
LA CASA DI CHE NACQVE IL VOSTRO FLETO,
PER LO GIVSTO DISDEGNO CHE V'HA MORTI,
E PVOSE FINE AL VOSTRO VIVER LIETO,
ERA ONORATA, ESSA E SVOI CONSORTI.

The house from which is born your lamentation,
Through just disdain that death among you brought
And put an end to your joyous life
As honoured in itself and its companions.
                                                                   PAR. XVI.136-139
Map 3C, Parrini XXIX, Tassinari XXIX. On the PONTE VECCHIO, where was the statue of Mars. Oral reading 6

 
. . . CONVENIASI A QVELLA PIETRA SCEMA,
CHE GVARDA IL PONTE, CHE FIORENZA FESSE
VITTIMA NELLA SVA PACE POSTREMA

But it beloved the mutilated statuer
Which guards the bridge, that Florence should provide
A victim in her latest hour of peace.
                                                            PAR XVI.145-147
Map 3C, Parrini IV, Tassinari IV. On the PONTE VECCHIO beneath the Vasari Corridor. Oral reading 7

 
. . . IN SVL PASSO D'ARNO

. . . on the pass of Arno
                                                     INF XIII.146
Tassinari X. [Beyond map] In via San Salvatore al Monte, at the beginning of the stairs. Oral reading 8

  
. . . PER SALIRE AL MONTE
DOVE SIEDE LA CHIESA CHE SOGGIOGO
LA BEN GVIDATA SOPRA RVBACONTE,
SI ROMPE DEL MONTAR L'ARDITA FOGA,
PER LE SCALEE, CHE SI FERO AD ETADE
CH'ERA SICVRO IL QUADERNO E LA DOGA.

                                                                                     PURG XII.100-105
Beyond map. In Piazza San Salvi, on the church, with stemmi of Florence and of the Donati, in reference to Corso Donati and his violence. Oral reading 9

    
"Or va", diss'el, "chè quei che più n'ha colpa,
    vegg'io a coda d'una bestia tratto
    inver la valle oue mai non si scolpa.
La bestia ad ogni passo va più ratto
    crescendo sempre, finch'ella il percuote,
    e lascia il corpo vilmente disfatto.
                                                                                      PURG XXIV. 81-86
Tassinari XI. Beyond map. In Piazza Piave on the Arno, on the tower of the old ZECCA where Florence's florin was minted. Europe's first euro. Oral reading 10





 
PER MEZZA TOSCANA SI SPAZIA
UN FIUMICEL CHE NASCE IN FALTERONA,
E CENTO MIGLIA DI CORSO NOL SAZIA
                                                                                 PURG XIV. 16-18

Map 2D, Parrini XXIII, Tassinari XXIII. In Borgo dei Greci, 29, where there had been a small gate in the first city wall. This was the quarter where the Greek Orthodox delegates to Florence's Renaissance Ecumenical Council were lodged. For their portraits see the Benozzo Gozzoli frescoes in the later Medici Palace's chapel. Oral reading 11

 
NEL PICCIOL CERCHIO S'ENTRAVA PER PORTA
CHE SI NOMAVA DA QVE' DELLA PERA.

One entered the small circuit by a gate
Which from the Della Pera took its name.
                                                                      PAR XVI. 125-126

Map 2D, Parrini III, Tassinari III. In PALAZZO VECCHIO, in the first courtyard. Farinata, though Ghibelline, counsels against the Sienese destroying Florence and her Peopleì's Palace after the Battle of Montaperti. His daughter Beatrice will be married to Cavalcanti's son, Guido, at the Peace of Cardinal Latino, made between the Guelf and Ghibelline families so they could take common cause against the tyranny of King Charles of Anjou. Oral reading 12

 
FV'IO SOL COLÀ DOVE SOFFERTO
FV PER CIASCVN DI TORRE VIA FIORENZA
COLVI CHE LA DIFESI A VISO APERTO.

But then I was alone, where every one
Consented to the laying waste of Florence,
He who defended her with open face.
                                                                INF X. 90-92
Map 2D. Parrini XIX, Tassinari XIX. In PALAZZO VECCHIO, in the first courtyard. Oral reading 13

Non trovato/Not found
OH QUALI IO VIDI QUEI CHE CON DISFATTI
PER LOR SUPERBIA.
                                                                           PAR XVI.109-110
Map 2D, Parrini XXX, Tassinari XXX. In PALAZZO VECCHIO, in the first courtyard. Oral reading 14

  
 VID'IO FIORENZA IN SÌ FATTO RIPOSO
  CHE NON AVEA CAGIONE ONDE PIANGESSE;
  CON QVESTE GENTI VID'IO GLORIOSO
  E GIVSTO IL POPOL SUO, TANTO CHE IL GIGLIO
  NON ERA AD ASTA MAI POSTO A RITROSO
  NE' PER DIVISION FATTO VERMIGLIO.

Florence behold I in so great repose
That no occasion had she whence to weep
With all these families beheld so just
And glorious her people, that the lily
Not by division was vermilion made
                                                            PAR XVI.149-134

Map 2D, Parrini II, Tassinari II. In via Calzaioli, 11 rosso, on the Cavalcanti palace. Oral reading 15

                             
                    CAVALCANTI
. . . SE PER QVESTO CIECO
CARCERE VAI PER ALTEZZA D'INGEGNO,
MIO FIGLIO OV'E?  PERCHE NON È TECO?
ED IO A LVI DA ME STESSO NON VEGNO
COLVI CVI GVIDO VOSTRO EBBE A DISDEGNO.

                . . . If through this blind
Prison thou goest by loftiness of genius,
Where is my son? And why is he not with thee?
And I to him "I could not of myself,
He who is waiting yonder leads me here,
Whom in disdain perhaps your Guido had".
                                                                    INF X, 58-63
Map 2D, Parrini XVIII, Tassinari XVIII. In via dei Tavolini, corner of via dei Cerchi, where was the Galigai palace. Oral reading 16

  
                         GALIGAI
. . . ED AVEA GALIGAIO
DORATA IN CASA SVA GIA L'ELSA E'L POME.

 . . . already Galigaio
Had hilt and pommel gilded in the house.
                                                                 PAR XVI.101-102
Map 2D, Parrini IX, Tassinari IX. In via dei Tavolini, 8, on the remains of the Abati palace. Oral reading 17

 
                                 ABATE
PIANGENDO MI SGRIDO PERCHÉ MI PESTI?
SE TV NON VIENI A CRESCER LA VENDETTA
DI MONTAPERTI, PERCHÉ MI MOLESTE?
. . .
. . . VN ALTRO GRIDO - CHE HAI TV, BOCCA?
NON TI BASTA SONAR COLLE MASCELLE
SE TV NON LATRI? QUAL DIAVOL TI TOCCA?!

When cried another "What doth ail thee, Bocca?
Is't not enought to clatter with thy jaws,
But thou must bark? What devil touches thee?
                                                                   INF XXXII.79-81, 106-108
Map 2D, Parrini XXV, Tassinari XXV. In via dei Cerchi, via dei Tavolini, where was the Della Bella palace. Oral reading 18

    
CIASCVN CHE DELLA BELLA INSEGNA PORTA
DEL GRAN BARONE . . .
. . .
DA ESSO EBBE MILIZIA E PRIVILEGIO
AVVEGNA CHE CON POPOL SI RAVNI
OGGI COLVI CHE LA FASCIA COL FREGIO.

Each one that bears the beautiful ecutcheon
Of the great barone . . .
. . .
Knighthood and privilege from him received;
Though with the populace unites himself;
Today the man who binds it with a border.
                                                                    PAR XVI. 127-128, 130-132
Map 2D, Parrini XIV, Tassinari XIV. In via Dante Alighieri, 1, at the BADIA church. Oral reading 19

 
FIORENZA DENTRO DALLA CERCHIA ANTICA,
OND'ELLA TOGLIE ANCORA E TERZA E NONA,
SI STAVA IN PACE, SOBRIA E PVDICA.

Florence, within the ancient boundary
From which she taketh still her tierce and nones,
Abode in quiet, temperate and chaste.
                                                              PAR XV. 97-99
Map 2D, Parrini VIII, Tassinari VIII. In via Dante Alighieri, 2, CASA DI DANTE, at Dante's birthplace. Oral reading 20

   
 
                                                              La vera casa di Dante                                                                    La vera casa 10          La casa finta   

. . . I' FVI NATO E CRESCIVTO
SOVRA 'L BEL FIVME ARNO ALLA GRAN VILLA.

. . . Born was I and grew up
In the great town on the fair River of Arno.
                                                                  INF XXIII, 94-95

Chiesa di San Martino, BUONUOMINI DI SAN MARTINO with the Ghirlandaio Seven Acts of Mersy
1. Feed the Hungry, 2. Give drink to the Thirsty, 3. Clothe the Naked, 4. Shelter the Pilgtim, 5. Visit the Sick 6. Visit the Prisoner, 7. Bury the Dead, these mirroring the earlier scenes in the roundels of the Madonna della Misericordia fresco, now in the Bigallo..
Map 2D. On the TORRE DELLA CASTAGNA, Piazza San Martino where Brunetto Latino, Dante Alighieri and Francesco da Barberino all served as Priors, Dante, during his two month term of office, exiling his friend, Guido Cavalcanta and their violent enemy Corso Donati, Guido dying of fever in that exile.

   
E chiamoronsi Priori dell'Arti e
stettono rinchiusi nella torre della
Castagna appresso alla Badia,
acciò non temessono le minacce
de' potenti
                                                                  DINO COMPAGNI, CRONICA

Map 1D, Parrini XXIV, Tassinari XXIV. In via del Proconsolo, BADIA, 17 rosso. Oral reading 21

 

                        VGO DI TOSCANA
CIASCVN CHE DELLA BELLA INSEGNA PORTA
DEL GRAN BARONE, IL CVI NOME E'L CVI PREGIO
LA FESTA DI TOMMASO RICONFORTA
DA ESSO EBBE MILIZIA E PRIVILEGIO.

Each one that bears the beautiful escutcheon
Of the great barn whose renown and name
The festival of Thomas keepeth fresh
Knighthood and privilege from him received.
                                                                        PAR XVI.137-139


 


In 1255 the Primo Popolo of the City of Florence pridefully placed this plaque [Map 2D] on the front wall of the BARGELLO, its words written by Dante's teacher, Brunetto Latino. That pride would be undone at the Battle of Montaperti, 1260, and Brunetto exiled in Spain and France.

+SUMMALEXANDER S[AN]C[TU]SQUE[M] MVNDVS ADORAT
CV[M] PASTOR MV[N]DI REGNABA[N]T REX[QVE] GVIELMVS.
ET CV[M] VIR SPLENDE[N]S ORNATVS NOBILITATE
DE MEDIOLANO DE TVRRI SIC ALAMANNVS
VRBEM FLORENTE[M] GAVDENTI CORDE REGEBAT
MENIA TVNC FECIT VIR CO[N]STA[N]S ISTA FVTVRIS.
QVI PREERAT P[O]P[V]LO FLORENTI BARTHOLOMEVS
MA[N]TVA QVEM GENVIT COGNOMINE DENVVVLONO
FVLGENTE[M] SENSV CLARV[M] PROBITATE REFVLTUM
QUE[M] SIGNA[N]T AQVILE REDDV[N]T SVA SIGNA DECORVM
INSIGNVM P[O]P[V]LI QUOD CO[N]FERT GAVDIA VITE
ILLIS QVI CVPIVNT VRBEM CONSVRGERE CELO

QVAM FOVEAT [CHRISTV]S CO[N]SERVET FEDERE PACIS
EST QVIA CV[N]CTORUM FLORENTIA PLENA BONORV[M].
HOSTES DEVICIT BELLO MAGNO[QUE] TVMVLTV
GAVDET FORTVNA SIGNIS POPVLO[QUE] POTENTI
FIRMAT EMIT FERVENS STERNIT NV[N]C CASTRA SALVTE
QVE MARE QVE TERRA[M] QUE TOTV[M] POSSIDET ORBEM.
PER QVAM REGNANTE[M] FIT FELIX TVSCIA TOTA
TA[M]QUA[M] ROMA SEDET SEMPER DVCTVRA TRIVMPHOS.
OMNIA DISCERNIT CERTO SVB IVRE CONHERCENS
ANNIS MILLENIS BIS CENTVM STANTIBUS ORBE
PENTA DECEM IVNCTIS [CHRIST]I SVB NOMINE QVIN[QUE]
CUM TRINA DECIMA TVNC TE[M]PORIS INDITIONE.

which Dante will echo in the Ulysses canto, Inferno XXVI

Godi, Fiorenza, poi che se' sì grande                   1
   che per mare e per terra batti l'ali,
   e per lo 'nferno tuo nome si spande! .


The BARGELLO also kept the LIBRO DEL CHIODO in which Dante was condemned to exile and death three times. It is now stored in the Archivio di Stato in Piazza Beccaria.
 


After Dante's death in exile in Ravenna, 1321, his fellow student Francesco da Barberino, had this scene frescoed with Dante Alighieri, Corso Donati, Brunetto Latino, Bishop Anontio Orso, with himself kneeling in front of his now dead fellow student, their teacher and his former patrons in the Masddalena Chapel of the Bargello. At the same time Francesco commissioned the tomb by Tino da Camaino for the Bishop Antonio Orso in the Duomo. Francesco would carefully rehabilitate Dante's memory in Florence, seeing to it that a hundred manuscripts of the Commedia issued from his Florentine publishing house, two of which he signed himself


Map 1D, Parrini XV, Tassinari XV. In via del Corso, via del Proconsolo, where the Ravignani palace stood. Oral reading 22

 
BELLINCION BERTI VID'IO ANDAR CINTO
DI CVOIO E D'OSSO, E VENIR DALLO SPECCHIO
LA DONNA SVA SANZA IL VISO DIPINTO.

Bellincion Berti saw I go begirt
With leather and with bone, and from the mirror
His dame depart without a painted face.
                                                                  PAR XV.112-114
Map 1D, Parrini XVII, Tassinari XVII. In via del Corso, 4 rosso, where the Cerchi palace stood. Oral reading 23

 
LA PORTA, CH'AL PRESENTE E CARCA
DI NUOVA FELLONIA, DI TANTO PESO,
CHE TOSTO FIA IATTVRA DELLA BARCA.

. . . the gate that is at present laden
With a new felony of so much weight
That soon it shall be jetsam from the bark.
                                                                     PAR XVI. 94-96
Map 1D, Parrini XIII, Tassinari XIII. In via del Corso, 6, where the Portinari palace stood. Oral reading 24
Folco Portinari, Beatrice's banker father, founded the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova, while her nurse, Monna Tessa, founded the adjacent Order of the Oblate, who nursed the sick and dying there, while the Misericordia by the Duomo, then the earlier cathedral of Santa Reparata carried the sick and the dying and buried the dead, Michelangelo showing himself as such a Misericordia worker in the Pietà now in the Opera del Duomo but formerly in the cathedral..

 
                         PORTINARI
SOVRA CANDIDO VEL , CINTA D'ULIVA,
DONNA M'APPARVE SOTTO VERDE MANTO
VESTITA DEL COLOR DI FIAMMA VIVA.

Over her snow-white veil with olive cinct
Appeared a lady under a green mantle
Vested in colour of the living flame.
                                                            PURG XXX.31-33
Map 1D, Parrini XII, Tassinari XII. In via del Corso, 31, rosso, on the remains of the Donati tower. Oral reading 25


 
                            DONATI
. . . IL LVOGO, V' FVI A VIVER POSTO
DI GIORNO IN GIORNO PIV' DI BEN SI SPOLPA,
ED A TRISTA RVINA PAR DISPOSTO.
  . . . QVEI CHE PIV' N'HA COLPA
VEGG'IO A CODA D'VNA BESTIA TRATTO
IN VER LA VALLE OVE MAI NON SI SCOLPA".

The place where I was set to live
From day to day of good is more depleted
And unto dismal ruin seems ordained
. . .him most guilty of it
At a beast's tial behold I dragged along
Towards the valley where is no repentance.
                                                                       PUR XXIV.79-84
Map 1D, Parrini I, Tassinari I. In via del Corso, 18, where the Adimari palace stood. Oral reading 26

 

                               CAVICCIVLLI
        TVTTI GRIDAVANO -A FILIPPO ARGENTI!-
        E'L FIORENTINO SPIRITO BIZZARRO
        IN SÈ MEDESMO SI VOLVEA CO' DENTI
.

        They all were shouting, "at Filippo Argenti!"
        And that exasperate spirit Florentine
        Turned round upon himself with his own teeth.
                                                                       INF VIII.61-63

Map 1C, Parrini XVI, Tassinari XVI. In via degli Speziali, 11 rosso, where the Alighieri palace stood.
Oral reading 27

 
GLI ANTICHI MIEI ED IO NACQVI NEL LOCO
DOVE SI TRVOVA PRIA L'VLTIMO SESTO
DA QVEL CHE CORRE IL VOSTRO ANNVAL GIVOCO.

My ancestors and I our birthplace had
Where first is found the last ward of the city
By him who runneth in your annual game.
                                                                       PAR XVI.40-42
Map 2C, Parrini XX, Tassinari 20. In via Lamberti, 20 rosso, where the Lamberti palace stood. Oral reading 28

 
                                 LAMBERTI
. . . E LE PALLE DELL'ORO
FIORIAN FIORENZA IN TVTT'I SVOI GRAN FATTI.

. . . and how the balls of gold
Florence enflowered in all their mighty deeds.
                                                                        PAR XVI.110-111
Map 1D. In via delle Oche. Oral reading 29

Non trovato/Not found
. . . NON DEE PARER MIRABIL COSA
CIO CH'IO DIRO DELLI ALTRI FIORENTINI,
ONDE E LA FAMA NEL TEMPO NASCOSA

                                                                       PAR XVI.85-87
Map 1D, Parrini XXI, Tassinari XXI. In via della Oche, 20 rosso, on the remains of the Visdomini tower. Oral reading 30

    

                   VISDOMINI
COSI FACIENO I PADRI DI COLORO
CHE, SEMPRE CHE LA CHIESA VOSTRA - VACA,
SI FANNO GRASSI, STANDO A CONSISTORO.

So likewise did the ancestors of those
Who evermore, when vacant is your curch,
Fatten by staying in consistory
                                                                       PAR XVI.112-114
Map 1D, Parrini XXII, Tassinari XXII. In via delle Oche, 19, where the Adimari Cavicciuoli palace stood. Oral reading 31

 
L'OLTRACOTATA SCHIATTA CHE S'INDRACA
DIETRO A CHI FUGGE, E A CUI MOSTRA IL DENTE
O VER LA BORSA, COM'AGNEL, SI PLACA.
                            ADIMARI

The insolent race that like a dragon, follows
Whoever flees,  and smite him that shows
His teeth or purse is gentle as a lamb.
                                                              PAR XVI.115-117
Map 1D. In Piazza del Duomo, 20. MISERICORDIA, Oral reading 32

   



The Madonna of Mercy, the Bigallo, formerly the MISERICORDIA, with the Seven Acts of Mercy, 1. Feed the Hungry, 2. Give drink to the Thirsty, 3. Clothe the Naked, 4. Shelter the Pilgtim, 5. Visit the Sick 6. Visit the Prisoner, 7. Bury the Dead.

  
ORSANMICHELE, built as a granary to feed even the enemy, such as a Siena and Pisa, in time of famine, in reparations for Florence's war crime of the embargo of foodstuffs to Pisa resulting in the cannicablism of Ugolino of his children in Inferno. Dante's Guild of the Medici e Speziali used the Madonna and Child as their emblem. ARNOLFO DI CAMBIO sculpted the Virgin's Soul as a girl child, Wisdom, God's Daughter, carried to Heaven by Christ on Santa Reparata.

VERGINE MADRE, FIGLIA DEL TUO FIGLIO
UMILE E ALTA PIU CHE CREATURA
TERMINE FISSO D'ETERNO CONSIGLIO

TU SE' COLEI CHE L'UMANA NATURA
NOBILITASTI SÌ, CHE IL SUO FATTORE
NON DISDEGNÒ DI FARSI SUA FATTURA.

NEL VENTRE TUO SI RACCESE L'AMORE
PER LO CUI CALDO NELL'ETERNA PACE
COSÌ È GERMINATO QUESTO FIORE


        ANNO MARIANO MCMLIV
                                                                            PAR XXXIII.1-9

Map 1D, Parrini VII, Tassinari VII. In Piazza San Giovanni, al BATTISTERO. Oral reading 33
. . . NEL MIO BEL SAN GIOVANNI

. . . in my beautiful St. John. 
                                                                            INF XIX.17


Map 1D, Parrini XXXI, Tassinari XXXI. In Piazza San Giovanni, al BATTISTERO. What the baby Dante would have seen at his Baptism on Easter Saturday, 1266. He dates the Commedia from Good Friday through Easter Week, 1300, and has his baptism reflected twice over in the Purgatorio, when Cato has Virgil baptise him, and again when Matelda drags him through the waters. Oral reading 34
SE MAI CONTINGA CHE 'L POEMA SACRO
AL QUALI HA POSTO MANO E CIELO E TERRA
SI CHE M'HA FATTO PER PIU ANNI MACRO,
VINCA LA CRUDELTA CHE FUOR MI SERRA
DEL BELLO OVILE, OV'IO DORMI' AGNELLO
NIMICO AI LUPI, CHE LI DANNO GUERRA,
CON ALTRA VOCE OMAI, CON ALTRO VELLO
RITORNERO POETA, ED IN SUL FONTE
DEL MIO BATTISMO PRENDERO 'L CAPELLO.

If e'er it happens that the Poem Sacred
To which both heaven and earth have set their hand,
So that it many a year hath made me lean,
O'ercome the cruelty that bars me out
From the fair sheepfold, where a lamb I slumbered,
An enemy to the wolves that war upon it.
With other voice forthwith, with other fleece
Poet will I return, and at my font
Baptismal will I take the crown.
                                                                                PAR XXV. 1-9 

Map, Historic Centre of Florence

1                                              2                                           3

                 Piazza Beccaria

                 Museo Zeffirelli

D                                            Bargello

D

Ospeda    Duomo              Casa di Dante  Torre della Castagna          Palazzo Vecchio

Misericordia             Buonuomini di San Martino

Battistero 

                   C                                          Orsanmichele                                                 Arno

                                                            Arte della  Lana                                         Ponte Vecchio



B





John Brett, Aurora Leigh, Victorian Cityscape of Florence from Bellosguardo

The medieval walls, constructed by Arnolfo di Cambio, were torn down when Florence briefly became capital of Italy. The Porta a Pinti gate had the stemma of the city, the lily and the cross, sculpted by him. At its destruction these were placed by Giuseppe Poggi on the wall of the English Cemetery in Piazzale Donatello.
The lily is actually the wild Florentine iris, which we have now planted in profusion throughout the cemetery demarking its paths. Lord Leighton, William Holman Hunt and others sculpt it on many of our tombs.






Further Suggestions for Exploring the Florence of Dante
The Baptistery where Dante was baptized Easter Saturday, 4 April 1265. Visitable.
The Duomo was not yet built though Arnolfo di Cambio laid out its foundatons and Giotto built its bell tower. Dante's cathedral was the earlier Santa Reparata in the same place.
The Misericordia and Bigallo, the confraternity begun seven centuries ago by blaspheming porters who vowed to carry the sick, the dying and the dead, and who still run the free ambulances outside the Duomo and a medical clinic. The Bigallo has the fresco of the Madonna della Misericordia with the vista of Florentines and Florence beneath her cloak.
Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, begun by Dante's Beatrice's father, Folco Portinari, and still in use seven hundred years later. Visitable.
The Oblate Library, formerly where women lived who dedicated their lives to nursing the sick and dying in Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, the order begun by Beatrice's nurse, Monna Tessa.
The Museo of the Palazzo Davanzati: A beautiful palace of the thirteenth century, complete with plumbing and toilets, much loved by school children. Chiaro Davanzati was a poet colleague of Dante's teacher, Brunetto Latino. Visitable.
The Torre della Castagna where Brunetto and Dante lived for two months as Priors of the City
The Museo Casa di Dante (twentieth-century fake) and the Penello Restaurant next door (real). Both visitable, the second for a meal with Tuscan food.
The Bargello which held the Libro del Chiodo, in which Dante was condemned to exile and death three times. Visitable.
The Palazzo Vecchio, then the Palazzo del Popolo, the People's Palace, used by the comunal  repubblican government with the five hundred and the two hundred assembled citizens .Visitable.
The Ponte Vecchio, the Ponte Carraia, and the Ponte delle Grazie existed in earlier forms
The two churches, Santa Maria Novella by the station for the Dominicans, Santa Croce for the Franciscans, where Dante would have heard lectures on theology. Visitable.
The great city gates, Porta Romana, Porta Frediano, Oltrarno, Porta di Prato, Porta San Gallo, Porta Beccaria (where executions were carried otu from that of San Miniato on, until Cesare Beccaria's book against capital punishment as cruel and unsual caused Tuscany to abolish its practice.
In the city centre keep looking up to find the Ghibelline towers, which the Guelphs lowered, using their stones, quarried first from what is now the Boboli Gardens, for building the great city walls for the common defense instead of internal gang warfare between noble families where the streets had run with blood. The rings you see on walls are for tethering horses and for holding torches for street lighting. Street lighting was also provided by the many frescoed tabernacles with the Madonna and Child and Saints you will see at street corners.
In the documents in the archives of Dante's time we do not find the Medici, who were Renaissance newcomers to the city already great from Dante's poetry, Giotto's art, Arnolfo's sculpture and architecture. The Medici mainly built palaces and villas for themselves rather than for the people, taking over control of a city that prided itself as a great Republic. Macchiavelli writes The Prince as satire, and notes in it that once a people have known freedom they will never acquiesce to a tyrant..


Bibliografia

Archivio di Stato di Firenze. Il Libro del Chiodo. A cura di Francesca Klein. Firenze Edizioni Polistampa, 2004.
Robert Davidson. Storia di Firenze. Firenze Sansoni, 1960.
Janis Elliott. "The Judgement of the Commune The Frescoes of the Magdalen Chapel in Florence," Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte (61 Bd, H. 4, 1998) 509–519.
I Giannini e l'arte del libro a Firenze, 1856-1980. Firenze Giulio Giannini e Figlio editori, 1856.

Le Lapidi dantesche di Firenze
. Firenze La Graticola, 1974
Richard Mac Cracken. The Dedication Inscription of the Palazzo del Podestà in Florence. Firenze Leo Olschki Editore, 2001

Amerigo Parrini. Le Epigrafi dantesche di Firenze. Firenze Giulio Giannini, 1928.
Amerigo Parrini. With Dante in Florence. Trans. C. Danyell Tassinari. Firenze Giulio Giannini, 1930-IX.

Highly Recommended Museo Zeffirelli in Piazza San Felice for its animated Inferno.
Also Recommended La Musica della Commedia dell'Ensemble San Felice di Federigo Bardazzi e Marco Di Manno
and Dante's Commedia at http//www.florin.ms/Dantevivo.html of which this is a part.

With thanks to Maria Novella Fioretta Pucci, Giacomo Pucci, Eugenio Giani, Richard Mac Cracken, Alberto Casciani, Daniel-Claudiu Dumitrescu, Giuliano Benvenuti and the Biblioteca del Capitolo Metropolitano Fiorentino, Enrico Giannini and Paolo Ciampi. Could the gentle reader request that the Comune of Florence clean and repair the Dante plagues and consider contributing financially to this task?

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