Italy is one of the major tourist destinations for many different reasons. People come to Italy for its buildings, food, museums, landscapes, and so on.
However, sometimes we forget that Italy is also a land where very famous Italian poets were born, some of the most famous being Giacomo Leopardi, Dante Alighieri, Virgil, etc.
If you don’t master the Italian language, you’ll find very difficult to read their poems and books since they’re written in vernacular language or in poetic language.
However, if you really are a fan of such a writers, one thing you can do if you’re in Italy is visiting the places where they rest.
Cemeteries are usually considered creepy places, however they are also places full of history and sometimes they even have a certain architectural importance.
So, in this article, let’s see some of the cemeteries or some of the buildings where important Italian writers rest.
ARQUA’ CEMETERY – FRANCESCO PETRARCA
In 1368, at the age of 64 years old, he and his daughter Francesca moved to the town of Arquà, in the Veneto region. And in this town he died in 1374.
Nowadays, the house where he lived and died hosts some exhibitions of his works and some curiosities, like the tomb of his cat.
Petrarch’s remains were initially buried in Arquà’s church and then moved to a building made of marble next to the church.
Some of Petrarch’s remains were stolen in 1630, in particular the thief, Tommasino Martineli, took some of the bones of Petrarch’s right arm.
Although the thief was captured, the stolen bones were never found.
In 2004 Petrarca’s remains were analysed. The scientists discovered that the bones of his right arms weren’t the only ones missing. Indeed, the analysis proved that the skull in Petrarca’s tomb was that of a woman who had lived in the XIII century.
The identity of this woman is still unknown, as well as the location of Petrarca’s skull.
PARCO VERGILIANO DI PIEDIGROTTA – GIACOMO LEOPARDI, VIRGILIO
Giacomo Leopardi is one of the most famous Italian poets of the XIX century. Perhaps his most famous work is I canti, a collection of his poems.
Leopardi, who has always had a fragile fisical condition, he died in Naples in 1837 during the cholera epidemic probably for heart failure.
Following the rules in force at the time, the authorities wanted to bury Leopardi’s remains in a common grave.
Luckily, thanks to the intervention of one of Leopardi’s friends, Antonio Ranieri, Leopardi’s remains were buried in the Church of Saint Vitale at Fuorigrotta, in Naples.
In 1939, then, Leopardi’s tomb was moved to Parco Vergiliano and declared a national monument.
In Parco Vergiliano, you can also find the remains of another famous Italian author: Virgil.
His most famous work is probably L’Eneide – The Aeneid.
Virgil caught a fever while coming back from Greece and died in Brundisium in 19 BC.
Before dying, Virgil asked his friends to burn the Aeneid since he hadn’t mange to edit it.
However, after his death, the emperor Augustus ordered Virgil’s friends not to destroy the manuscript and to publish it instead…luckily for us Virgil’s friends obeyed him.
ST. FRANCIS CHURCH – DANTE ALIGHIERI – RAVENNA
He died in 1321 at 56 years old probably from malaria. He had just finished writing Paradiso.
His remains were buried in St. Francis Church in Ravenna, and his tomb was declared a national monument.
Dante’s tomb is surrounded by “Zona Dantesca” – Dantes’ area – an area where pilgrims and tourists are asked to observe the silence as a sign of respect to Dante.
Did you know you could visit the tombs if these famous Italian poets?
Original image by Unsplash