The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell

Dante shown holding a copy of the Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory, and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Domenico di Michelino’s 1465 fresco

Exiled from the living, on a sea,
uncharted, three island realms of the dead.
Even without a companion, no fear here.
Our fate cannot be taken from us.
This journey a Comedy. A happy ending.


In 1302, the Italian poet Dante Alighieri was exiled from Florence for his political sympathies. His only solace during his exile was writing. It was during this time that he wrote The Divine Comedy, an epic poem about a journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.

Italy marked the 700th anniversary of the death of the medieval poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri in 2021. He is also known as the Father of the Italian language.

Dante’s Divine Comedy mined for 21st-century meaning – listen to this BBC program

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