A bit of a misnomer, the Dante House Museum was never the 13th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri's residence. Instead, this small museum is home to reproductions of early manuscripts of his magnum opus, The Divine Comedy, and other engaging exhibits that re-create Dante's life and times.
Although there is nothing on display that actually belonged to the great poet, the museum provides a glimpse into the politics, economy, and social life of medieval Florence. Exhibits include a reconstruction of Dante's bedroom, illustrations of his poems, and reproductions of his magnum opus, written after he was banished from Florence for backing the wrong side in political intrigue. In exile, Dante was forced to wander northern Italy for several years before ending his days in Ravenna in 1321.
The Dante House Museum is included in the Florence Card museum pass and offers guided tours and workshops on the writings of Dante. Otherwise, you can visit the museum during a private electric bike tour or walking tour of Florence that also includes nearby attractions like the Duomo with its Baptistery of San Giovanni and Giotto's bell tower, the Badia Fiorentina monastery, and the Uffizi Galleries.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Dante House Museum’s labyrinthine medieval-style building is said to be located on the spot where the Alighieri family home once stood, but dates from the early 20th century.
- The museum is partially accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
- A stop here is particularly interesting for lovers of medieval history and literature.
- Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather if joining a bike or walking tour.
How to Get There
The Museo Casa di Dante is located on Via Santa Margherita in the heart of Florence's largely pedestrian-only historic center, a short walk from the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station.
When to Get There
Florence is one of the most popular destinations in Italy, and the attractions in its historic center can be very crowded in the high-season summer months. Consider touring in the spring or fall to take advantage of mild weather and fewer visitors.
Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy
This poet who lived between the 13th and 14th century is among the most important writers in western literature. His Divine Comedy is divided into three parts—Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise—and the most famous copy is a manuscript commissioned by Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de'Medici and illustrated by Botticelli, pages of which can be seen in Berlin's Museum of Prints and Drawings and the Vatican Museums.