Marco Azzurrini in “Dante goes to War”
  • Tue 9 July 2024
Piazza Garibaldi

Visit Livorno / Events / Marco Azzurrini in “Dante goes to War”

Marco Azzurrini in “Dante goes to War”

Tuesday 9 JULY





artistic collaboration Angelo Cacelli

sets Antonio Calandrino

In the year of Dante’s celebrations, for the seven hundred years since the death of the supreme poet, we want to tell the story of another Dante instead, not Alighieri, but Dante Fiorentini, who lived in Coltano in the province of Pisa. Some years ago, his children and grandchildren, who often listened to his “war stories”, narrated during summer evenings and now known throughout his village, convinced him to write a small diary, to put his oral narration in black and white.

Thus was born “Soldier Dante”, a small book, printed by Edizioni il Campano of Pisa and distributed in local bookstores.

Dante participated in all the various phases of the Second World War, first in the war in Greece, leaving for Albania at the beginning of ’40, then, after the decisive German intervention, moving first to Friuli and then to France, where a handful of Italian soldiers were sent, to justify Italy’s entry into the war. Finally, he was part of the Italian army engaged in the final stages of the so-called “African war”, where, taken prisoner by the British, he was transferred to a prison camp in Scotland, in the city of Inverness, near the famous Loch Ness lake, home of the monster.

Here he remained, together with his companions, almost forgotten by history, until the spring of ’46, when the head of the Italian government Ferruccio Parri, with the war now just finished, called for them to contribute, he said, to the “national reconstruction”.

In his war, our Dante did not encounter either a dead or wounded person (only one dead due to a ballistic accident, caused by a malfunctioning breech), he encountered hunger, sometimes thirst and lice. Instead, he was keenly aware of human contradictions, the absurdity of that war, like all wars, the brotherly bond with his companions, a respect that always accompanied him, beyond the rank he held. The show originates from the aforementioned book and from long chat-interviews with Dante, done some years ago, in his house in Coltano and in his garden. There is no Alighieri, but the poetry is not lacking, because together with Angelo Cacelli, we have indeed started from Dante Fiorentini’s passion for the May song, the ottava rima, the Guerrin meschino, Ariosto and finally the supreme poet Dante Alighieri.

You see that in the end Alighieri always comes into play…

Marco Azzurrini

Marco Azzurrini in “Dante goes to War”
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