Italy to mark Dante Day

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(ANSA) – ROME, MAR 24 – Italy will mark Dante Day Thursday on
the 700th anniversary of the Divine Comedy author’s death in
    The ‘Supreme Poet’ will be celebrated across the country with
the highest-profile event being a televised reading of Canto XXV
of the Paradiso by comic actor, director and Dante buff Roberto
Benigni at the presidential Quirinal Palace at 19:10 in the
presence of President Sergio Mattarella and Culture Minister
Dario Franceschini.
    In the famed canto, Dante’s muse Beatrice vouches for the poet
and pilgrim’s possession of hope in redemption.
    March 25 was chosen as Dante Day as scholars believe it was on
this date that Italy’s greatest poet descended into Hell for the
first part of his epic journey through the Inferno, Purgatorio
and Paradiso.
    Later on Thursday Benigni will recite on Rai3 the iconic Paolo
and Francesca episode from Canto V of the Inferno, a tale of
forbidden love and honour killing that has inspired artists
including Rodin and Dante Gabriele Rossetti, as well as
countless musical interpretations.
    Dante as a pilgrim was so struck by the story of passionate love
that he fainted in Inferno, while Dante the philosopher and
religious thinker condemned the lovers for their adultery.


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