INFERNO: from Dante to Dan Brown

Dante's Inferno as depicted in a fresco inside Florence's Duomo
Dante’s Inferno as depicted in a fresco inside Florence’s Duomo

Dante’s Inferno has become the basis for the latest Dan Brown novel of the same name.

Dan Brown’s Inferno takes its name from the first of the three canticas that make up Dante’s Divine Comedy.

In the poem, Dante recounts in first person his experiences of travelling through hell (Inferno), purgatory (Purgatorio) and heaven (Paradiso).

Dante journeys through Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso from Good Friday to just Easter in the year 1300.

He is not alone, with Virgil (one of Rome’s greatest poets who lived from 70-19 BC) as his tour guide through hell and purgatory and Dante’s dream woman Beatrice* leading him through paradise.

In Dante’s Inferno, the writer finds himself lost in the woods being chased by wild animals. This is said to symbolise sin. Dante searches frantically for the right path to salvation, depicted as sun emanating from behind a mountain. Luckily for Dante, along comes Virgil, who guides Dante through Inferno and out towards purgatory.

To pass through Inferno, they had to go through a series of levels which represent various degrees of sin, being self-indulgence (lust, gluttony, anger and greed), violence and maliciousness (treachery and fraud). In Inferno, Dante also includes Limbo for pagans who did not follow Christ, and another area for heretics. The final level is where sits the boss of hell, the Devil himself.

Virgil, clearly an excellent tour guide, manages to lead Dante out of the gates of hell to Purgatory Mountain, divided into seven terraces, each of which again represents one of the seven deadly sins.

Having passed through Purgatory and about to enter Paradiso, Virgil leaves Dante, who is then guided by Beatrice into heaven.

Here the structure is based on virtues rather than sins, with Beatrice and Dante passing through nine celestial spheres that make up heaven, the last of which contains angels who were never tainted by original sin. Obviously in heaven the top dog is God, who sits in the 10th area within heaven.

We are the first company in Florence to offer an Exclusive Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ -_Dante_in_Florence_Tour, tracing the paths of Robert Langdon as he treads the Florence city streets, and entering into some of Florence’s most iconic buildings, such as the Palazzo Vecchio and the Florence Baptistry building.

Artviva also has a 2-hour exclusive Da Vinci Code Art Sleuth tour with Seracini where you learn can how to spot a forgery, receive hints on building your own private art collection and continue on the search for lost masterpieces in the company of this expert.

Artviva offers as well guided Uffizi Gallery tour, followed by an exclusive-entry tour of the Vasari Corridor.


* Beatrice was not Dante’s wife however, but rather a woman who Dante held a burning flame for throughout his entire life, even though he met her only twice and both were married to other people. She also featured in Dante’s La Vita Nuova. 

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