Inquiring minds: “La natura l’arte di Dio”--what does that mean?

Each week the staff at the Roseville Library answers more than 2,500 questions on every subject under the sun. Here are some of the most interesting ones they’ve gotten lately.

Q.  I have a wall plaque in my kitchen that reads “La natura l’arte di Dio.”  What does that mean?

A.      It means “Nature is the art of God” in Italian. According to a gazillion online sites, it’s supposed to be a quote from the greatest of all Italian writers, Dante. The only strange thing about all of this is that none of those sites is actually in Italian. Furthermore, the authoritative Dante website offering the original Italian text of the poet’s complete works doesn’t recognize the saying.
Once again, the Internet proves itself a great repository of things that other people THINK famous people should have said -- if only they had ever gotten around to it.
(Online resources including

Do you have a question for the staff at the Roseville Library? You can call them at 628-6803 or ask your question in person at the Information Desk, Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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