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Volterra and Dante Alighieri, a vision journey in the Divine Comedy

Dante Alighieri is the father of the Italian language and author of one of the greatest masterpieces of world literature. Everyone associates the poet with the city of Florence, where he lived for most of his life. However, you should know that there is a bit of Dante also in Volterra.

Some researchers believe that this picturesque Etruscan town in the province of Pisa inspired the Supreme Poet in the descriptions of the three canticles of his Divine Comedy. Many of the characteristics of the path Dante follows in his ascent to Paradise seem to recall the urban landscape of the ancient Velathri

We know for a fact that Dante Alighieri never mentioned Volterra specifically, although he undoubtedly was familiar with the city. However, with a bit of imagination, we can try to picture in our mind a journey around Volterra and the whole Val di Cecina.


A descent to the Inferno

Let's start our journey-vision, following the footsteps of the Supreme Poet.

The steep structure of the mountain, full of curves and hairpin bends, will remind us of the circle of Hell where the poet places the souls of the damned. In the chasms of the cliffs, it is easy to imagine the vaulting of the black angels of Malebolge and, in the depth of the gullies, the plants born from the clay recall the landscape that Dante and Virgil encounter in the Selva dei Suicidi

A visit to the Mining Museum of Montecatini will make us relive the descent to the Inferno mentioned at the beginning of the Divine Comedy. A dark environment, with walls that seem to form concentric circles, just like those described by Dante. Only when out of the mine, we'll be able to see the sunlight again, as the poet says at the end of the Inferno, "And Then We Emerged to See the Stars Again".


A dream in Paradise

Let's now abandon the darkness of Hell and start our ascent towards the "Paradise." It is precisely the sensation of having found heaven that you'll feel once we reach the top of the hill of Volterra. 

With the medieval walls behind us, we'll be able to observe a heavenly panorama of the landscape of the Val di Cecina. A 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside, which becomes increasingly green and yellow thanks to the rays of the sun that illuminate it. We can then admire the ruins of the Etruscan Acropolis and the Roman Theatre, one of the best-preserved in Italy.

In this context, you will almost see Beatrice appear on a wagon covered with flowers "Beneath a green mantle, dressed in the color of a living flame."

Once you have visited Volterra, you can continue this heavenly journey to the beautiful San Gimignano with its high towers. A few kilometers from this medieval jewel, you will find Casolare Le Terre Rosse, a charming country hotel, you can relax and breathe the true soul of the Tuscan countryside.

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