The Divine Comedy is the mother of the Italian language, but where we find a description of places, magical or very linked to the Christian religion, which are real.
One place that inspired Dante Alighieri’s graceful pen is Lunigiana. Very controversial territory at a political level and also for economic reasons which is located in the upper part of Tuscany.
The only question is: Why did Dante Alighieri have anything to do with Lunigiana?
Recall that in ancient times, the characters of this caliber were often the protective wing of the nobles.
The Poet was commissioned by a famous Florentine noble family, with great political power, to “negotiate” business and beyond. In short, he was their ambassador, precisely because he was an excellent speaker and a skilled diplomat.
Except that in this place Dante was very attached to the territory. Lunigiana is the protagonist, with its environments, Celtic and pagan statues and panoramas with gloomy atmospheres, of many writings and songs of the Divine Comedy.
Undoubtedly this place with its natural beauties, has struck the imagination and the soul of the Poet.
The Malaspinas and Dante’s adventure
Taking a review of history, we see the connection between Lunigiana and Dante.
The retrieval of information comes directly from two medieval notarial deeds, also containing the signature of the poet, who demonstrated his presence in this locality.
The discovery took place in 1700, during the “reorganization” of the territorial practices of the border lands that belonged to noble families. It was the Marquis Manfredi di Terrarossa who found them. The two notarial deeds were under the power of attorney of Franceschino Malaspina. They are then part of the final act of the “discovery of Dante’s exile”.
The exact date is 6 October 1306 where Franceschino Malaspina di Mulazzo appoints the poet Dante Alighieri as ambassador of the reconciliation negotiations with the bishop of Luni.
The noble family of the Malaspina was rich and with strong political power, like that of the Sforza. Although they were subjects of arms, that is, who conquered their fiefdoms through wars and invasions, they loved intellectual subjects. Their strength was to use diplomatic subjects and appreciated for their intelligence, as representatives of things that could not be conquered with weapons.
However, Dante’s presence in Lunigiana predates the Malaspina’s appointment. In fact, he was sentenced to exile, due to the White Guelphs’ policy. In order not to leave his beloved Tuscany, he remained in a “borderland”, namely Lunigiana.
With the promise to return to Florence, eliminating the condemnation of exile, the Malaspinas “hired” him as their ambassador.
Dante’s house in Lunigiana
In the Lunigiana there is the Casa di Dante, that is a museum dedicated to the life of the Poet.
This structure consists of a tower house, where there is also the center of Dante’s studies. Inside there is a splendid library where there are also some writings by the Master’s hand.
The museum can be visited both by private tourists, with or without guided tour, but it is also composed of an educational path where you can better understand the history of Dante and his presence in this territory.
In addition there are also many scattered villages in the Lunigiana where there are statues and phrases of the poet that are dedicated to the places he visited. This is also increased by the medieval charm that has remained intact over the centuries.
In the Lunigiana there are monuments built by the Sforza family, very linked to Dante, where there are also accessories and epistles between the two characters. A long journey that we can also do on foot, rediscovering and retracing the environments that were frequented by the Supreme Poet.