Italy marks Dante Day as part of #WeAreItaly campaign

Italy marks Dante Day as part of #WeAreItaly campaign

Italy's foreign ministry on Wednesday took part in the first national day to celebrate the great poet Dante Alighieri. Dante readings were held as part on the #WeAreItaly campaign launched by the ministry to burnish the country's image during its dramatic coronavirus outbreak.

Actress Ermanna Montanari and playwright Marco Martinelli read from Dante's Inferno - the first section of his narrative poem the Divine Comedy (written between 1308 and 1320), according to a foreign ministry statement.

According to many scholars, on 25 March, 1300, Dante began his otherworldly journey, finding himself in the famous "dark forest" of Canto I of Inferno.

As part of Dante Day, many cultural institutions in Italy and Italian Cultural Institutes abroad have made available online contributions dedicated to Dante and launched literary flashmob events on social media, the statement said.

"Seven hundred and twenty years after the beginning of the Supreme Poet's journey, Italy gathers around one of its 'fathers', to start a path of rebirth also through culture," the statement concluded.