-1

I have a marble bust that has the inscription: NEL MEZZO MI RITROVA CHE LA DRITTA. Struggling with getting the right sense. Assistence requested.

3
  • 2
    It is very strange, it means nothing. May be it is a wrong sentence, coming from the beginning of the Commedia di Dante "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita - Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,- -Che la diritta via era smarrita. " Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 15:54
  • 2
    I agree with @BakerStreet. These are the first syllables of the first three verses of Dante's Inferno. Well, in fact, va in RITROVA should be vai.
    – Charo
    Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 16:43
  • 2
    ...and DRITTA should be DIRITTA. So, yes, the first few words of the first lines of the Inferno with some misspellings.
    – DaG
    Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 16:50

1 Answer 1

7

This should be completed (and fixed) into the tercet

NEL MEZZO [DEL CAMMIN DI NOSTRA VITA]
MI RITROVA[I PER UNA SELVA OSCURA,]
CHE LA DIRITTA [VIA ERA SMARRITA.]

which is the very famous beginning of the “Comedia” (nowadays mostly known as “La divina commedia”) by Dante Alighieri, possibly the most important Italian poem, because modern Italian is basically founded upon it.

The sentence “nel mezzo mi ritrova che la dritta” means nothing, but it obviously suggests the three verses above to anybody who has studied a bit of Italian literature.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.