Some of you may know about the Società Dante Alighieri, which operates all over the world to promote the study of Dante and his works. They’re a pretty amazing organisation (they once funded a scholarship for me when I was doing my UG to go and study in Italy for a month), and have a really interesting history in the UK. Unfortunately we don’t have a Dante Society in Leeds (CAN WE CHANGE THIS PLEASE? I WILL BE WILLING TO RUN IT MYSELF!) but our nearest established franchises are in Hull and Manchester.
I don’t mean to promote Manchester more than Leeds, because obviously Leeds is brilliant and we have amazing Dante resources, but something quite big is going down in M-town right now. To celebrate 150 years since the Unification of Italy, Manchester Dante Society is running a series of events, billed as the ‘Festa Italia‘. Aside from the talk about illustrations in 20th century editions of the Commedia, the society has organised concerts, film screenings, celebratory dinners, and parades per festeggiare the brilliance of Italian culture.
I’m so excited about all of this, because I feel like sometimes Medieval Italy is a little bit sidelined in modern-day England. This is the perfect excuse for us to boast about how lucky we are to work on this amazing poet and have a bloody good time whilst doing so.