The Tomb of Dante in Ravenna was commissioned by Cardinal Gonzaga and built in 1780 by the architect Camillo Morigia. The neo-classical monument has a square floor plan and is topped by a small dome. The facade makes an extremely austere appearance. The coat of arms above the entrance is that of Cardinal Gonzaga. The lamp on the ceiling is kept burning continuously. The olive oil used to feed the lamp is donated by the city of Florence every year on September 14.
Tomb of Dante Ravenna
The address of the Tomba di Dante is Via Dante Alighieri, 9 (tel. +39 0544 215676). The nearest bus stop is Via Mariani Teatro Alighieri (lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 18, 70, 80, 145, 159, 161, 162, 176). The monument is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during summer time. On Saturdays and Sundays and holidays, it is from 10:00 to 19:00. During winter time, opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed on December 25. Ticket price: Free. (Note that prices and times may be subject to change.)
History and description
The neo-classical Tomb of Dante is the most famous tomb in Ravenna. Its patron was Cardinal Luigi Valenti Gonzaga.
This neo-classical square temple with a small dome was constructed around the poet’s tomb in the 18th century. The only decoration of the facade is the symbol of Cardinal Gonzaga above the entrance. The architrave bears the words Dantis Poetae Sepulcrum (“Tomb of the Poet Dante”).
Dante was born in Florence in 1265, but spent the last years of his life in Ravenna, where he would also die, in 1321.
What to see
The tomb proper is lined with marble and decorated with ornamental plasterwork. The epigraph on the Roman-era sarcophagus is by Bernardo Canaccio.
A bas-relief by the hand of Pietro Lombardo from 1483 shows Dante absorbed in thought in front of a lectern.
The ceiling lamp is fed with olive oil donated by the city of Florence each year on the anniversary of the poet’s death.
The tomb is connected to the San Francesco Monastery, where Dante’s funeral was held.
The Tomb of Dante is a national monument, and since 1936 the ground around the monument has been designated a Zona di Silenzio, where silence should be observed.
Tomb of Dante Ravenna