You are here: Home / Gardens / Garden Collections / Inscriptions / Wisteria Arbor

Wisteria Arbor

Inscription in the Wisteria Arbor at the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

Inscription at the Wisteria Arbor

Quelli chanticamente poetaro
leta dell oro/ & suo stato felice
Forse in parnaso esto loco sognaro
codice Caetani
all amico Gelasio

This plaque in the Wisteria Arbor commemorates the Blisses' friendship with Gelasio B. A. Caetani, the Italian ambassador to the United States from 1922 to 1925. The Caetani family owned the Codex Caetani, a manuscript of Dante's Purgatorio. The lettering of the inscription is in the same style as the manuscript.

The inscription is from Canto ⅩⅩⅧ of the Purgatorio. Charles Eliot Norton translates it as Those who in old time sang of the Golden Age, and of its happy state, perchance, upon Parnassus, dreamed of this place.

Document Actions