ROOM 1 – WHO WAS DANTE?
The first room offers an introduction to the poet’s life and also uncovers some odd aspects of his personality. A double timeline runs along the walls, defining the chronology of the main events of Dante’s life, framed in their historical context.
A striking holographic display (holobox) shows a 3D reconstruction of Dante’s face based upon iconographic sources. By rotating, the reconstruction will be visible from all angles, including Dante’s well-known side profile.
Thanks to a touch screen on the wall, an interactive bookshelf allows visitors to thumb through three virtual volumes with a simple touch: “The Alighieri family”, which includes a family tree with biographical profiles on several members of Dante’s family; “Dante as politician”, about Florence and its internal divisions among factions as well as the poet’s role in the city’s political life; “The true face of Dante”, which uncovers a series of curious anecdotes on the poet’s personality as told by his first biographers.
ROOM 2 – THE BATTLE OF CAMPALDINO
Inside the immersive room, a rear-projection video wall shows the battle of Campaldino. The underlying theme of the video is linked to the dagger retrieved in the plains where the battle took place.
The narration – created with a mix of drone footage, actors, computer graphics animations and original music – is intended to move visitors thanks to a proper jump back in time, by guiding them through the events of the notorious, bloody battle.
In the second room, visitors will discover an unknown side to the poet: Dante the warrior. Here, they will hear about the battle of Campaldino, which Dante fought in himself. An immersive experience will transport the viewer straight to the battlegrounds: a rear-projection video wall shows a specially-made video, featuring drone footage, real life actors and computer graphics animations. Through a moving narration visitors will be able to step on to the battlegrounds, accompanied by selected tercets from the Comedy. Heart of the story is the dagger retrieved on the Campaldino plains, probably dating back to the battle itself and known as “Dante’s dagger”: on display in the same room as the projection, the dagger still bears, barely readable, the inscription TINACEUS: an invitation to steadfastness and perseverance.
ROOM 3 – THE GUILDS AND THE FLORENTINE ECONOMY
On the walls of this room, backlit panels show the coats of arms of the Florentine Guilds. Thanks to an interactive table, visitors can browse through new contents in a fun way.
The first section, “The Guilds”, allows visitors to guess which coat of arms belongs to which Guild. By choosing one of the reproductions of the coats of arms provided with NFC tags next to the station and by positioning it on the table-integrated NFC reader, visitors can activate questions, subdivided by target audiences (adults and kids), which in turn allow to uncover anecdotes and odd facts about the Guilds in medieval Florence. The second and third section are dedicated to Florence’s trades as well as the gold Florin, one of the strongest European currencies during Dante’s life. The last section invites visitors to customize their experience by assembling their own coat of arms, choosing their own colors and symbols, and giving them the chance to send the final result to their email address.
ROOM 4A – FLORENTINE POLITICS
The room highlights multiple aspects of life in medieval Florence and its social and political organization. Three evocative videos are ready to be projected on a scale model of the city. The first video, dedicated to the main buildings of the medieval city, focuses on Florence’s places of power and prestige; the second one delves into Florence’s ancient districts, called “sestieri”, explaining their administrative subdivision into different areas; finally, the last video is dedicated to Florentine politics as well as the internal fights between families and political factions which violently divided the city.
ROOM 4B – THE POET’S EXILE
An important turning point in the course of the visit is represented by the room dedicated to the poet’s exile: a painful theme that hit him “midway upon the journey” of his life and sentenced him to leave the city he was born in up until his death. On a backlit panel, a timeline maps the currently known stages of Dante’s exile and the cities that extended him their hospitality.
A few volumes are on display in this room, including replicas of the ancient Nail Book and of the Codex Trivulzianus 1080, a manuscript of the Comedy dating back to the 1300s. On two small touch screens, visitors can access several digitalized documents, taking the opportunity to thumb through ancient testimonies, which would be otherwise quite difficult to come by, and to display contents concerning Dante’s exile.
Finally, in front of the window, through a Virtual Reality (VR) station visitors will be able to get a taste of medieval life inside a finely decorated space overlooking a courtyard. Wearing Oculus Go headsets, visitors can bring their visit experience into a medieval environment, accompanied by evocative background music exclusively composed for the museum.