Leaving the places that represented the sad reality of the present for Dante, we approach the places that instead represented hope for the future: the streets overlooked by the Scaliger palaces (now inaccessible).
Dante could not see the Scaliger Tombs, an extraordinary example of Gothic architecture that originated in the North in the 1330s. Though he certainly went often to the palace of Cangrande, a place where artists, scientists and political refugees would assiduously gather, as told by Dante’s friend, poet Manoello Giudeo: “Barons and marquises from all countries / gentle and courteous you see them arrive; / here astrology with philosophy / and theology, you will hear them discuss.”
It is quite possible that Dante also stayed in this palace as the prince had rooms for each category of guests (knights, artists, merchants, etc.). He certainly had dinner here many times, exchanging quips with the Scaliger Lord. Without any doubt, Dante surely went to pray at the Church of S. Maria Antica, the private temple of the Scaligers that hosts the renowned hanging cemetery, where he would affirm his longing for justice for himself and for the whole world.
Cangrande will live forever in canto XVII of the Divine Comedy (lines 70-93): “So recognised shall his magnificence / become hereafter, that his enemies / will not have power to keep mute tongues about it.”