Many of the country's cultural events have had to be cancelled or postponed, but that's not the case with Dantedì. Italy's new celebration of Dante's works, to be marked for the first time this year on 25 March.
The celebrations will be entirely online, with performances and readings tagged on social media with #Dantedì and #IoleggoDante.
The 13th-century Tuscan poet is known worldwide as the father of the Italian language, and his works remain embedded in Italian culture, studied by schoolchildren and quoted by adults in daily conversation up and down the country.
Italy's culture ministry has invited everyone to mark the day by reading and sharing the “verses of timeless charm” by Dante, as though the event was organised long before the coronavirus otbreak hit Italy, it has now become a way to unite the country and bring some cheer to people at a difficult time.
The main events will take place at midday on March 25, as this is the date identified by scholars as the start of the journey to the afterlife in Dante's Divine Comedy.
“This first edition takes place at a particularly difficult moment,” said Dario Franceschini, Italy's culture minister.
“The many initiatives already planned will move online. This is why I'm appealing to artists: on 25 March, read Dante and post your content.”
“Dante is the Italian language, he is the very idea of Italy. And it is precisely at this moment that it is even more important to remember him in order to stay united.”
Streamed readings and performances will continue throughout the day, and everyone can get involved – from any part of the world – by posting their own reading on social media using the official hashtags #Dantedì and #IoleggoDante
Tag @thelocalitaly in your #DanteDi contribution on the day, and we'll also compile the best contributions from our readers.