From the cenotaph of Santa Croce to the discovery of Dante’s Florence in one app

Created by Opera Santa Croce, two different itineraries are presented to explore the poet’s city and his heroes

Basilica of Santa Croce – © intoscana

Discover Dante Alighieri’s Florence through an App: it’s now possible thanks to an application for smartphones created by Opera Santa Croce, the first stage of a complex journey that will follow the lives and stories of other great Italians, linked to the history of the Basilica.

Dante and Santa Croce

On the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the death of the Supreme Poet, the project naturally began with Dante Alighieri. His bond with Santa Croce is very close given that his statue dominates the piazza in front of the church. Inside the Basilica, Florentines would have liked his remains to rest. However, that did not occur, so now visitors instead find an imposing cenotaph inside the church in which the poet is depicted seated on a sarcophagus, with the allegorical figures of Italy and Poetry at his sides, mourning his death.

The cenotaph is the gateway to the itineraries proposed in the application. It marks the starting point of a journey that will accompany us through Dante’s Florence.

Dante’s traces in the city

Florence, together with the poet, is the protagonist of this digital journey, that becomes the guide to a real journey through the streets, squares and monuments that are symbolic of the city. The stages of this route are marked by the traces that Florence wanted to carve into stone: plaques, upon which the words of Dante Alighieri are engraved, guide us along the path.

Florence and its symbolic places are celebrated in the verses of the Divine Comedy, and now they allow us to travel in time: not only to discover the poet’s thinking, but also to get to know the medieval city where he was born and lived for thirty years.

Dante’s Heroes

There are two paths proposed in the application. The first is dedicated to Dante’s Heroes, that is, the characters that the poet encounters during his descent into hell and his ascent to heaven. The route starts from Santa Croce, with San Francesco and Giotto, passing through Borgo dei Greci and Piazza della Signoria, to arrive at the Farinata Degli Uberti plaque. The journey continues towards via dei Calzaiuoli, where the memory of Guido Cavalcanti is carved into stone, and then continues towards Corso to meet Forese Donati. The path finishes with Santa Maria Maggiore and the plaque for Brunetto Latini.

Dante’s City

The second itinerary is linked to the symbolic places of Florence, evoked in the verses of the Divine Comedy and strongly linked to the life of Dante Alighieri. The poet witnessed the transformation of the city and the construction of churches and monumental buildings that still form the life and history of Florence. In this route, we once again start from Santa Croce, heading towards the medieval city and then to the Baptistery, the beautiful San Giovanni, a place where Dante, like every Florentine, had a strong connection. Other stops on the route include Orsanmichele, Ponte Vecchio, Torre della Zecca and river of Florence, the Arno. All the stages are marked by plaques with verses of the Comedy.

The App

This project also forms part of the initiatives dedicated to the 700th anniversary celebrations for Dante Alighieri. The App is a project curated by Opera Santa Croce, in collaboration with the App Dante Society of America, NYU College Of Arts & Science – Department of Italian Studies; Casa Italiana Zerilli – Marimò – NYU, Ministry of the Interior – Fund for Religious Buildings, Municipality of Florence. The video guide is made by D’Uva – Florence

App Santa Croce – © D’Uva