Dante and his work are inseparable from his beloved Florence. Where and when will be key elements in the novel, but where does one begin?
The city of Florence was the birthplace of Dante and the artist Sandro Boticelli who has given us the image of the poet in crown of laurel leaves. The city, its churches and palaces and works of art are inextricably intertwined with the Medicis and Michelangelo. Again the scope is encyclopedic and the real connections chosen by Brown will become apparent only on 5/14/13. But it was apparent from the very beginning that the city and its iconic Cathedral (Duomo) were to be highlighted. A panorama of the city appeared with the original mosaic announcing the novel, and since then the city has re-appeared from near and far on Facebook and the cover of the US and UK editions of the work.
On both covers the famous Duomo or Cathedral of Florence, Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
The Dutch cover features the Ponte Vecchio.
There is also the photo of Dan Brown entering the Palazzo Vecchio. The Palazzo Vecchio (Florence’s town hall) is connected to the Palazzo Pitti by an overhead passage at the Vasari Corridor, in 1565 Cosimo I de’ Medici had Giorgio Vasari build above it.
Another Florence connection is the YouTube video that one can open by typing PYTHAGORAS or TETRACTYS into the box on the SECRETS page on Dan Brown’s own website and clicking on SEND. Brown emerges from a secret passageway. Greg Taylor identifies this portion of the Vecchio Palace as the Studiolo of Francesco I de Medici, “a very sophisticated treasure chest “of rare and precious things”, with a secret entrance to the Tesoretto (“little treasure”) of his father Cosimo I. You can watch a virtual walkthrough of these rooms here. There are a few scholars who have examined the Studiolo in English.
This fresco by Bernardino Poccetti is in the Grotta del Buontalenti in the Boboli Garden at Palazzo Pitti. More about the grotto and its mysteries and the possible connection to Brown’s novel can be found here.
This is the Rotunda in the Laurentian Library of the Basilica San Lorenzo. The complex designed by Michelangelo is the burial place of the Medicis. One might recall the Rotunda of the US Capitol that played a role in The Lost Symbol. Michelangelo is also a favorite of Brown in his earlier novels.
This photo of a passageway, the catwalk, was identified on Facebook by Dpb as the Passerella (catwalk) and Duomo (tower) of the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Firenze (Florence), Italia.
The Bell Tower of the Cathedral (Duomo), the Giotto Campanille.
Also in Florence is the Basilica di Santa Croce, the burial site of Michelangelo, and while there is a tomb there for Dante, he is actually buried in the city of Ravenna. After his exile from Florence he never returned to Florence.
We have also been treated to images of the Dante Museum in Florence.
The Palazzo Vecchio at night. I can hardly wait to get there.