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Beginning of the celebrations in Canberra for the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri's death



Beginning of the celebrations in Canberra for the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri's death

2021 is dedicated to the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri.

The Embassy of Italy in Australia has planned a series of initiatives aimed at remembering his immortal art and his central role for the Italian language and culture.

In Canberra the celebrations began with the interpretation, by the actress Bianca Bonino, of some cantos of Hell in the evocative setting of the Street Theater.

During her introductory speech, Ambassador Francesca Tardioli recalled how Dante, through his commitment as a poet, writer and politician, represents one of the paradigmatic figures in the transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and how the Divine Comedy, written in the vernacular and not in Latin – as it was the rule at his time - laid the foundations for the development of what would later become the Italian language.

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Introduced by wonderful illustrations of Dante's work, which highlighted how actual the Divina Commedia still is, Bianca Bonino offered the audience in the room an engaging reading of cantos 21 and 22, examples of the depth of Dante's multilingualism in which we find all the strength of his inimitable style. These are the cantos that the Supreme Poet dedicates to the “barattieri” (the fraudulent ones) and to Alichino, a demonic figure in the Divine Comedy that will subsequently inspire the character of Arlecchino, so common in the Commedia dell'Arte. Bianca Bonino also granted an "encore" with the reading of Canto 26 of Hell, cantered on the figure of Ulysses.

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As part of the celebrations for the 700th anniversary of Dante's death, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has made published an audiobook of canto V of Hell (available in English at  to promote the work of the Supreme Poet and to offer the possibility to listen to the triplets, discover the characters who inspired Dante and the influence of the story of Paolo and Francesca on the authors of all the world.

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