The mother of Dante was Bella degli Abat and died when Dante was only 5 or 6 years. Shortly after his father Alighiero remarried with Lapa di Chiarissimo Cialuffise (there is controversy as to that wedding, proposing that the two have come together without marriage, owing to the difficulties raised, at the time, to the wedding of widowers). The father of Dante had two children with her: Francesco and Tana (Gaetana). While studying in his hometown in 1278, he was a disciple of Brunetto Latini, who makes appearance in hell (canto XV), and was a friend of the poet Cavalcanti. When Dante was 12, undertook with Gemma, daughter of Messer Manetto Donati, which then married in 1291. Marriages negotiated at such early ages were so frequent and constituted an important ceremony, requiring official acts signed before notary.
Dante had several sons with Gemma. As often, some people claimed to be natural sons of a famous character, the same happened with Dante, and it is likely that Jacopo, Pietro, or Antonia were his real sons. Antonia became a nun with the name of sister Beatrice is tells us, that he was educated at home and that he studied Tuscan poetry of Guittone Bonagiunta Orbicciani of Arezzo. At that time, the Sicilian school (Scuola Sicilian poetics), a cultural group from Sicily, was captivated to Dante. His centers of interest led him to know minstrels of Provence and Latino culture. His devotion to Virgil was also evident. He also studied the Italian vernacular language, latin (the language franco from that era), Provencal, and in fact inserted some verses in this language in purgatory. It should be noted that in the age mean the fall of the Roman Empire left a dozen small States, so Sicily was away cultural and politically from Tuscany, as this was Provence: the regions did not share the same language and same culture and media were difficult.