Museo Casa di Dante ☆☆☆

Museo Casa di Dante, Florence, Italy (Photo by llee_wu)

The "Museum of Dante's House" in Florence is a typical medieval home with a small museum dedicated to Italy's greatest poet since antiquity

First things first: this was not Dante's house.

No, it never was.

The small museum of reproduction memorabilia that fills a few rooms of this lovely 14th century townhouse is dedicated to the great medieval Florentine poet, but he never actually lived here (though there is evidence his brother might have owned it).

Dante probably lived next-door to "Dante's House," or maybe just down the block. Where, exactly, we do not know. We just know it wasn't here.

I guess calling it "The Museum of Dante's Neighbor's House" didn't quite have the same ring to it.

The Dante Museum—Way less important than the man himself

Notwithstanding the lie inherent in its very existence, "Dante's House" does remain a fine example of a private upper-class home from Dante's era—and one of the few remaining buildings, albeit a bit altered over the centuries, in this neighborhood at the heart of central Florence.

If you're seriously into Dante, give it a whirl—though if you don't speak Italian, much will be lost on you as very few of the modest displays about Dante's life and his greatest works are multi-lingual.

If you happen to be passing by, there is a spiffy little gift shop full of Dantiana—lavish editions of his works, the entire Divine Comedy printed in microscopic type on a poster, that sort of thing—that you can enter without paying the admission fee to the modest museum itself.

Most Italians content themselves merely with snapping photos of one other standing in front of the place.

"Dante's House," if nothing else, bang in the geographic center of Florence, tucked into the labyrinth of medieval alleys that tangle between the Duomo and Piazza della Signora.

So if, midway through the your walk across Florence you find yourself in this dark alley where the straightforward path has been lost, you can pop inside to buy a translated edition of Dante's Inferno and see just how much of a geek I just proved myself to be with this sentence.

Photo gallery
  • , Museo Casa di Dante, Italy (Photo by llee_wu)
  • , Museo Casa di Dante, Italy (Photo by Sailko)
  • Bust of Dante, Museo Casa di Dante, Italy (Photo by Gianni Careddu)
  • The stairs, Museo Casa di Dante, Italy (Photo by Sailko)
  • , Museo Casa di Dante, Italy (Photo by Sailko)
  • , Museo Casa di Dante, Italy (Photo by Sailko)
  • , Museo Casa di Dante, Italy (Photo by Sailko)
  • , Museo Casa di Dante, Italy (Photo by Sailko)
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Free or reduced admission with a sightseeing card

Get into Museo Casa di Dante for free (and skip the line at the ticket booth) with:

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How long does Museo Casa di Dante take?

Even Dante fans won't spend more than 30 minutes. Those with a passing interest (or in need of a present for a literary-minded friend) might pop into the gift shop for five minutes.

Useful Italian phrases

Useful Italian for sightseeing

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is?... Dov'é doh-VAY
...the museum il museo eel moo-ZAY-yo
...the church la chiesa lah key-YAY-zah
...the cathedral il duomo [or] la cattedrale eel DUO-mo [or] lah cah-the-DRAH-leh
     
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
Closed day giorno di riposo JOR-no dee ree-PO-zo
Weekdays (Mon-Sat) feriali fair-ee-YA-lee
Sunday & holidays festivi fe-STEE-vee
     
ticket biglietto beel-YET-toh
two adults due adulti DOO-way ah-DOOL-tee
one child un bambino oon bahm-BEE-no
one student uno studente OO-noh stu-DENT-ay
one senior un pensionato oon pen-see-yo-NAH-toh

Basic phrases in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
     
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
     
Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
Today oggi OH-jee
Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
     
a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
     
a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
March marzo MAR-tzoh
April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
May maggio MAH-jee-oh
June giugno JEW-nyoh
July luglio LOO-lyoh
August agosto ah-GO-sto
September settembre set-TEM-bray
October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
November novembre no-VEM-bray
December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

Numbers in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 uno OO-no
2 due DOO-way
3 tre tray
4 quattro KWAH-troh
5 cinque CHEEN-kway
6 sei say
7 sette SET-tay
8 otto OH-toh
9 nove NO-vay
10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
11 undici OON-dee-chee
12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
20 venti VENT-tee
21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
30 trenta TRAYN-tah
40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
100 cento CHEN-toh
1,000 mille MEEL-lay
5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


* You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).

 

Related

The medieval poet and writer whose "Divine Comedy" helped codify the modern Italian language