The Boboli gardens stages Dante for a day

On 6 September, the Medici gardens will host ‘Tra Selva e Stelle’: Dante’s journey in the Divine Comedy staged with 77 actors and 36 installations

Dante nel Loggiato degli Uffizi
Statue of Dante Alighieri, the Uffizi Loggia, Florence.

The Boboli Gardens becomes a theatre as the Divine Comedy is staged in its striking spaces that blend art and nature in perfect harmony. 

For the first time, on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, a theatre performance will move around the Medici parkland, travelling through the places and people presented in the Divine Comedy. It’s a walk through Dante’s underworld, which is represented by 36 stops in the Boboli Gardens, each offering installations created for this extraordinary travelling theatre show

77 actors are involved in the performance, which took more than two years to develop.

At each stage in the show, the characters from the Divine Comedy will perform their personal situation, varying from damnation to redemption and bliss. As in Dante’s masterwork, their respective roles will be intimately linked with the metaphorical relationship with the surroundings.

All the spaces selected for the show will be brought to life with set designs (in addition to the installations) that act as allegories for the essential elements of the three canticas: death is the theme chosen for the Inferno, salvation for Purgatory, and the concept of ascension to a higher state of existence for Paradise.

The performance will take place in the afternoon on 6 September, with Tra selva e stelle, produced by the Gallerie degli Uffizi and Archètipo Associazione Culturale with the direction of Riccardo Massai. The event also benefits from the patronage of the National Committee for the 700th Anniversary Celebrations of the death of Dante. 

“In the 14th century, the Boboli hill still wasn’t urbanized; it was a ‘dark wood’ and it’s not hard to imagine the ‘ghibellin fuggiasco’ who stood there to contemplate the medieval city centre,” comments Uffizi Galleries director, Eike Schmidt. “In this natural space, the Uffizi Galleries invite the general public to rediscover the poet’s voice, following his guidance, from verse to verse, in an ascension that will lead the audience from the Inferno, via Purgatory to Paradise: altogether to ‘see the stars again’”.