Three public gardens were inaugurated this morning, Tuesday 14 December, which the Municipality of Pisa has decided to name after three characters from the Divine Comedy: Pier delle Vigne, Arrigo VII and Federico II of Svevia.
The three areas are located in via Contessa Matilde, close to the urban walls: the first, dedicated to Pier delle Vigne, near Largo Cocco Griffi; the second, dedicated to Arrigo VII, at the crossroads with via Piave; the last, dedicated to Frederick II of Swabia, near the Porta di San Ranierino.
“Pier delle Vigne, Arrigo VII and Frederick II of Swabia – said the deputy mayor Raffaella Bonsangue – are three characters mentioned by Dante in the Divine Comedy and inextricably linked to the history of our city. We have decided to take the opportunity of the 700th anniversary of the death of Sommo to name these three splendid areas close to the city walls after these three figures who, in any case may deserve this recognition. It is good that this initiative be appreciated by all the Pisan citizens and by everyone, what a way to value the qualities of our city “.
“How not to think, therefore, of Pier delle Vigne, jurist, politician, man of letters, considered one of the greatest exponents of medieval Latin prose – continued Bonsangue – taken to prison in Pisa and buried in the Chinzica district, ‘rescued, he died in “little hospital of Sant’Andrea in Barattolaia and was buried in the adjacent church.” He held important positions at the court of Frederick II, keeper of the seals of the Empire, “I am the one who kept both keys of the Cor di Federigo …” Pier delle Vigne is mentioned in the Divine Comedy, specifying in the thirteenth canto of the Inferno, in the forest of suicides “.
“Certainly, in the assessments of the administration, the due recognition of Arrigo VII, Henry VII of Luxembourg, Holy Roman Emperor, buried in a monumental tomb inside the Cathedral of Pisa, could not be missing. The Alto Arrigo who was not yet 40 years old when he arrived in Italy to try to unify it under the aegis of the Holy Roman Empire, but his intent failed, definitively putting an end to the dream of a peaceful and united Italy, which both had made Dante Alighieri dream. Inside the sarcophagus, made by Tino da Camaino, the imperial crown, the scepter and the globe were found, all the objects made in gilded silver, now preserved inside the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo In addition to the treasure, what today is the most important fabric of the Middle Ages in terms of size was found: a ‘cloth’ of three meters by 120 centimeters in silk with pink-blue bands and with the design of two facing lions that enveloped the body of the emperor. In the Divine Comedy, the poet assigns the Emperor a seat in Paradise and mentions him several times with words of admiration “.
“Finally, but undoubtedly not least – Bonsangue concluded – we remembered Frederick II of Swabia, Holy Roman Emperor at the age of 26, called ‘Stupor Mundi’, great patron, advocate of scientific progress, very tied to the history of Pisa; in 1223, the emperor Frederick II attended a singular tournament among the most distinguished mathematicians of the time, the winner of which was Leonardo Pisano, known by the name of Fibonacci; near the park named after the Emperor, there is an inscription, very difficult to read, engraved on the architrave of the door known as Santo Stefano, which according to the archaeologist Federico Andreazzoli, being dated in 1240, would mean the insertion of the work in the context of the interventions aimed at completing the enclosure masonry carried out in the forties of the thirteenth century, as proof of the special interest of Emperor Frederick II for the city of the Arno, also considering its strategic role on chess er and Tyrrhenian. In the Divine Comedy, Dante places the Emperor in Hell, Canto X “.