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Dante Alighieri met Beatrice "Bice" di Folco Portinari when they were both only 9 years old. Though they would meet only once more, she changed Dante’s life profoundly.

Beatrice inspired many of his great works, including The Divine Comedy. In the 3rd act, a fictional version of Beatrice, equipped with all the wit, graces and virtues of Bice, appears to guide the pilgrim through Heaven as he forages for celestial wisdom.

Beatrice Portinari

Plate VII: Canto II: "Beatrice am I, who do bid thee go" Gustave Doré's Illustration to Dante's Inferno

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