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Tolmin to remember Dante's 14th century visit

Tolmin, 25 April - Tolmin, a north-western town near the border with Italy, will join this year's events marking the 700th anniversary of Italian poet Dante Alighieri's death by remembering his alleged visit to the area in 1319 upon invitation of Aquileia patriarch Pagano della Torre.

Florence, Italy
The famous fresco of Dante Alighieri by Renaissance painter Andrea del Castagno (1421-1457).
Photo: public ownership/Wikipedia

Dante (1265-1321) will get a memorial board with the legend about the visit while also being remembered as part of an exhibition at the Tolmin Museum which opens in June.

The exhibition will focus on three castles from the area, including the one at Kozlov Rob (Goat's Edge), where Dante allegedly stayed, the museum's director Damjana Fortunat Černilogar has told the STA.

"It's interesting that the legend about Dante's visit has appeared in written texts since the 16th century, while its interpretations have differed.

"Various authors have tried to prove that this was not the case or that the text is accurate, but we don't have any written record about the visit," she explained.

A memorial board will be set up in front of a cave which Dante visited and which allegedly inspired him how Hell from his masterpiece Divine Comedy would look like.

The board will bring new facts about the Zadlaška Cave, which is also known as Dante's Cave, about its mythology and the legend about Dante's visit, which has neither been confirmed nor rejected.

Dante is said to have been invited by partiarch della Torre in 1319, two years before he died while living in exile, and stayed at the castle at Kozlov Rob above Tolmin.

After this part of Slovenia came under Italy after WWI, Italians set up a memorial plaque to Dante in front of the cave and later a monument in Tolmin.

The locals removed the monument after World War Two and it is now kept at the Tolmin Museum.

Matej Kavčič from the Tolmin municipality has said the idea for Tolmin to join the celebrations came from its Italian twin town of Vicchio, near Florence, Dante's city.

The two towns are marking 40 years of being twinned, so the municipality decided to set up a new bilingual board in front of Dante's Cave.

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© STA, 2021