Dante Alighieri

Guest of the Da Polenta family when in exile.

The great poet’s story leads to Polenta. Dante spent the final years of his life (from 1317 al 1321) as a guest at the court of Guido Novello Da Polenta, then Lord of Ravenna, who regained possession of Polenta Castle during that time.

His native town had been conquered first by his cousin Guido Riccio and then by his son Alberico, who was plotting against Ravenna. Guido Novello decided to neutralise Alberico by sending his brother Giovanni to Polenta with a group of soldiers; with the aid of a ruse, they managed to gain access to the fortress and take the castle.

The raid on the castle was met with amazement in the city and Dante decided to visit the fortress and the old church of San Donato.