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Dante’s voyage into Hell puts him in the position of acting as both observer and judge of famous and not-so-famous names from world history. Florence, the longed-for home that had cast him into exile, faces a similar literary wrath.Despite Dante’s exile from Florence, the city takes center stage in the first book of his masterpiece, the Commedia. The merchant economy was developing in a manner that would influence European and world history for centuries, and the populace had a strong sense of community that earned Florence a status of great importance in the Italian political life of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. During decades of wandering throughout the peninsula, Dante would not forget his hometown or his fellow citizens, many of whom became characters in the Inferno. We will discuss his theory of justice, often times explained with the term “contrappasso,” as well as the structure of Hell, Dante’s linguistic novelty, and its relevance to Italy today. While in Florence, you will have the opportunity to relax, come to understand the city and its geography, and discuss the references that Dante makes to his native city and its inhabitants in the first half of the Inferno. The secondary work that we use for this tour, Martha Nussbuam’s Poetic Justice, gives us a rigorous yet entertaining and clearly written source to consider while confronting Dante’s text. These books, combined with Scolastica Tours’ exclusive literary packet, reading guide and city guides, means that you have an unparalleled basis from which to prepare for your trip. Onward to Rome
After a quick journey by high-speed train, you will visit the home of some of Dante’s most memorable sinners.When Dante began the Inferno in the early 1300s, Rome and the Vatican were not the touristic draw that they are today. Although an important destination for pilgrims, the city was still dramatically marked by centuries of neglect and ruin following the fall of the Roman Empire. You will have the opportunity to see not only Rome as it stands today, but also Rome as Dante viewed it, as a haven for sinners up to and even including the pope. Here you will again find yourself in luxurious surroundings that allow you to contemplate and discuss the characters found as we descend further into Hell. This will take us from Pope Boniface VIII to the great Ulysses before finally arriving at a vision of Satan himself, trapped in the frozen depths and gnawing away at history’s most famous traitors. These episodes will further illustrate Dante’s reliance on contrappasso, as each character suffers punishment related to yet opposite his sin. Leaders: Kyle Hall, Founder and Tour Manager "I began traveling to Italy over a decade ago, and since my first trip in 2002 have been immersed in studying the Italian language, history and culture. I received my M.A. in Italian Studies from Florida State University in 2006 and that fall began my doctoral program, always in Italian Studies, at Harvard University...Upon leaving the world of iron-gated campuses, I wanted a way to take this academic experience and replicate it for others, focusing on the places where these books and histories came into being. Scolastica Tours represents this attempt of striving to provide each of our clients with a better brand of tourism. As both the founder of the company and your tour manager, this is always in the forefront of my mind." Fees: 2014 tour dates, with prices from $5,185 All tours include fine lodging, many meals, books and other materials, qualified guides, and more. Each 7 night tour includes:
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