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Dinner and Dante

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita                                                     In the middle of the journey of our life
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
                                                                       I found myself in a dark wood,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.                                                                               
for the straight way was lost.

—  Opening lines of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy




Before departing on a 1 a.m. bus to the airport in Rome, Intensive Italian students celebrated their Umbra Institute experience Friday evening with prosecco, a lavish meal, and recitations from Dante’s Divine Comedy – in the original Italian, of course.


Dr. Bob Proctor, the director of the Intensive Italian program, asked his students to memorize lines from the epic poem. However, according to Umbra Director of Academic Programs Francesco Burzacca, the evening would only be fair if Proctor himself joined the students.

Without notes (mostly), teacher and students stood before the room filled with Umbra professors, and staff and recited stanza after stanza to uproarious applause.

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