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8 Dante’s Divina Commedia verses in Siena

For anyone living daily immersed in the sceneries of a medieval city like Siena, some particulars are probably unnoticed or are going to become almost invisible. The curiosity and the reflective eyes of tourists are usually able to catch a different way to live in a city.

Dante Alighieri in Siena: where to find his verses

Last year has been so difficult so far, but it also hides great stories. In 2021 there have been celebrations for the 750th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s birth, one of the most important cultural events of the year.

Dante, also known as the “Supremo Poeta” is considered the greatest Italian artist in the literature world.

A politician from the city of Florence, a fierce opponent of the Siena’s municipality, and a victim of different intrigues in his city but able to describe the glory and misery of the human being in a masterpiece entitled “La Divina Commedia”.

This was enough to provoke my interest in a marble plaque placed in the external wall of Palazzo Tolomei, in Siena. In a small alley that I’ve traveled thousands of times, always in a hurry and often with my head down, a phrase from the “Comedy” is engraved in stone.

“Ricorditi di me che son la Pia, Siena mi fé, disfecemi Maremma”
Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio, canto V, vv. 133-134.

Verses are about Pia dei Tolomei, a Siena’s noblewoman of the 13th century married to Nello Pannocchieschi, who left her to die in the Maremma in Castel di Pietra. The noble wanted a new marriage and he complained of a never proved betrayal by his wife.

There are eight of these tombstones in the city. With eight different stories. Here’s where to find them.

– Via Garibaldi, Inferno XXIX, vv. 130-132
– Vicolo del Tiratoio, Inferno XXX, vv. 76-78
– Vicolo della Torre, Purgatorio V, vv. 133-134
– Via del Moro, Purgatorio XI, vv. 121-123
– Piazza del Campo, Purgatorio XI, vv. 134-135
– Via Vallerozzi, Purgatorio XIII, vv. 109-111
– Vicolo Beato Pier Pettinaio, Purgatorio XIII, vv. 127-129
– Via della Diana, Purgatorio XIII, vv. 152-153