Dantedì is the national day dedicated to Dante Alighieri and is celebrated in Italy every 25 March. The date was approved on January 17, 2020, in view of the commemoration for the 700th anniversary of the poet’s death, which took place on September 14, 1321. The date of March 25 corresponds to the day of 1300 in which, according to tradition, Dante gets lost in the “dark forest”.
The idea of Dantedì was born from an editorial by the journalist and writer Paolo Di Stefano that appeared in Corriere della Sera on June 19, 2017, where the proposal was put forward that Dante Alighieri had his own day in the calendar on the model of the Bloomsday dedicated to Joyce. Di Stefano himself reiterated the proposal on several occasions, always in Corriere della Sera (3 February 2018, 24 April 2019), which was followed by a promotion campaign also in the Milanese newspaper. The Council of Ministers, on the proposal of the Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism Dario Franceschini, approved the directive to establish Monday on January 17, 2020: the date for this day dedicated to Dante Alighieri was chosen on March 25, since many believe that the journey narrated in the Divine Comedy began on that day in 1300. The proposal was accepted by intellectuals and scholars, as well as prestigious cultural institutions such as the Accademia della Crusca, the Italian Dante Society, the Dante Alighieri Society and the Association of Italianists in the Italian Society for the Study of Medieval Thought.
The name “Dantedì” was born from a chat between linguist Francesco Sabatini and Di Stefano himself: the final institution of this day would have taken place on 4 July 2019 in Milan, in the Buzzati del Corriere hall, during an event organized by the Corriere Foundation .
The first and second editions took place digitally due to the COVID-19 pandemic.