The Dante Tourist

The dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy (Clarissa Cavalheiro/Reuters)
Florence's art and architecture celebrate the city's exiled poet.

Florence, Italy — You might say that we’re in the middle of the journey of our life: My wife and I reached our 25th wedding anniversary last year.

To celebrate, we went to Italy. We put Florence on the itinerary because we wanted to see Brunelleschi’s dome, Leonardo’s paintings, and Michelangelo’s statue of David. But we also had a special reason for traveling to Florence. We had spent the fall reading Dante’s The Divine Comedy and auditing a course on it at Hillsdale College. (Our professor, Stephen Smith, joined me this week on the Great Books Podcast to discuss this Middle Ages

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


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