Amid this fearsome and most awful plenty,
people, naked and in terror, were running
without hope of refuge or of heliotrope:
Eighth Circle. The poets climb from the sixth pit. – Seventh pit: Fraudulent Thieves. – Vanni Fucci. – Prophecy of calamity to Dante.
The canto opens with a carefully developed metaphor: a shepherd in early spring is discouraged to see the fields white with frost, but a couple hours later it is warm and green and he takes his flocks out to graze. Just so did Virgil’s anger pass quickly and turn into the sweetness with which he usually treated Dante. They clambered up the great crags between the pouch of the hypocrites and the next, a difficult labor. When Dante ran out of breath, Virgil encouraged him to keep on manfully. They climbed down almost to the next valley, and to his horror Dante saw masses of venemous serpents there. As he watched, he saw naked sinners running terrifiedly among the snakes; one sinner was bitten and flamed into ashes, but his dust then reformed itself into human shape, like the phoenix.
Virgil asked him who he was, and he answered that he was Vanni Fucci from Pistoia. Dante knew him, and the sinner was ashamed. He said that he was damned for stealing ornaments from the sacristy. Then, lest Dante enjoy the sight of his damnation too much, Vanni Fucci predicted the misfortunes of the White Guelphs, which he told Dante “to make [him] grieve.”
Riassunto in inglese tratto da https://www.gradesaver.com/divine-comedyi-inferno/study-guide/
Canto adopted by Confindustria Romagna