During the Middle Ages Vernaccia was the wine of the Kings and Popes: Pope Martin IV knew it all too well, as he was a great lover of it, so much so that Dante placed him among the souls of gluttons
in canto XXIV of Purgatory:
Has held the holy Church within his arms;
From Tours was he, and purges by his fasting
Bolsena's eels and the Vernaccia wine.
(translation by H.W. Longfellow)
San Gimignano also celebrates Dante 700 years after his death: Dante celebrations open today to commemorate the anniversary of the visit of the Sommo Poeta (Supreme Poet), who was welcomed in the Palazzo Pubblico as a Guelph Florentine ambassador on May7th, 1300.
"La San Gimignano di Dante" event officially begins today (check out all details on the Facebook page of the Municipality of San Gimignano), with the reopening of the municipal civic museums and the possibility of booking - also in the coming months - an itinerary of visits to Dante's places in San Gimignano between history, flavours, wine (Vernaccia of course!), images and words.