The multisensory exhibition “Il mio purgatorio. Dante profeta di speranza” – “My purgatory. Dante prophet of hope” – open until May 31 at Castel San Pietro in Verona. 120 high school students are the protagonists and, in the guise of modern Virgil, lead to the discovery of Dante’s cantica of mercy. 

“Il mio Purgatorio” is the second edition of the review “Dante profeta di speranza”, born to bring the new generations to the reading of the Divina Commedia. Last year, the first edition “Il mio inferno” brought 12,500 visitors to Dante’s Ave and this year the journey continues. We had left at the foot of the mountain and now we restart with a climb to the hill of purgatory. And in this sense, Colle San Pietro is the perfect re-enactment. The exhibition is in fact organized in the imposing nineteenth-century building of Castel San Pietro that looks down on the city and that is now owned by the Cariverona Foundation.   

Open from April 1, the exhibition can be visited only by reservation in the dedicated site everyday of the week from 9 to 13 and from 15 to 19. The guided tour lasts approximately an hour and a quarter and is for groups of up to thirty people.  

Five hundred square meters and thirty-three stops punctuated by illustrations and accompanied by insights and reflections. It is a multisensory path made of images, videos and sounds to fully understand the meaning of Dante’s purgatory. In particular, the short films are made by Mosaiko with Monsignor Martino Signoretto. The sounds, instead, from the choir of the Musical Chapel of the Cathedral of Verona directed by Giovanni Geraci. Among the works also “El Dante” by the sculptor Adelfo Galli, a representation of a man who is so amazed by the encounter with Beatrice to change the consciousness of himself and of all the reality that surrounds him.   

But young students are the real protagonists of the exhibition. High school boys and girls from fourteen Veronese schools. Last year the guides were 100 while now they are 120 and this shows the availability and especially the interest that the new generations have for initiatives of this type. They have been trained for months thanks to the activity of the PCTO (Paths for transversal skills and orientation), and now, as modern Virgil, they are ready to guide visitors on the path of purgatory, accompanied by guides and adult tutors of the association Reveals. But they’re not just guides. The young people also follow the communication project on social media and, as they explain on the site, the goal they have set themselves is more than a mere knowledge of the Divine Comedy. They began this journey to delve into the verses of purgatory full of existential questions to find, thanks to the words of the Supreme Poet, a concrete answer.   

And together with the boys, this year there is also a special guide. It is NAO, a robot with all the joints of a human being equipped with sensors that make it able to give emotional feedback, as well as explain the contents of the review.   

Purgatory in Dante’s conception, represents that phase of time where change is possible, a moment when we can review and modify our choices. It is in this perspective that I believe the young generations must also see their lives, with a kind of hope for new possibilities”, explains Jacopo Buffolo, Councillor for Youth Policy. Purgatory is in fact the cantica closest to the daily life of young people because it is based on the concept of starting over. What distinguishes those who are confined to the circles of hell from those in purgatory is in fact the attitude. The former closed in on their mistake while the latter recognized it and asked for mercy. And it is precisely on the theme of mercy that the entire structure of the exhibition is based.   

On the second edition of “Dante prophet of hope” also some findings emerged from recent archaeological excavations are shown for the first time to the public.   

“My purgatory” is an exhibition in which young people give voice to the “Poet of Hope” to show that, when you enter the literature with your own questions, Dante is still able to provide the answers.