The first stage of the exile was Verona, where the Florentine poet was a guest first of Bartolomeo and then of Cangrande della Scala, the famous warlord to whom he dedicates an entire canticle from Paradise. Among the places very dear to Dante are the canonical cloister of Duomo, the Capitular Library and the Church of Sant’Elena, at the entrance to which there is a plaque commemorating the day when the man of letters, right here, gave the first public reading of his "Quaestio de aqua et terra". Another popular place was Piazza dei Signori, the "living room of Verona", known by all as Piazza Dante for the statue of the poet that seems to dominate the surrounding space. "Dante in Verona, 1321-2021" is the title of the project with which Verona will celebrate Dante's seventh centenary: exhibitions, cultural and scientific events, conferences, tourist itineraries to remember and honour the Father of the Italian language.
In his wanderings Dante also reached Padua, a city which according to tradition was founded by Antenor. The Poet dedicates an area of Hell in the IX Circle to the legendary Trojan, by calling the place where he places the traitors of the homeland Antenora. Legend has it that Padua was also the scene of the meeting of the father of the Italian language with another illustrious Tuscan, Giotto, author of the pictorial cycle in the Scrovegni Chapel. The citizens wanted to remember the alleged meeting by commissioning the sculptor Vincenzo Vela with two statues placed in the porch in front of the Loggia Amulea to dominate Prato della Valle one of the largest squares in Europe, with their wise gaze.
Even Cittadella, a fortified city a few kilometres from Padua, becomes a literary place of the Great Poet who in the IX Canto del Paradiso alludes to the famous Torre di Malta located south of the walls, making Cunizza, sister of Ezzelino III da Romano, pronounce the famous triplet