This first lecture on the narrative structure of the Divine Comedy derive from my work as a teacher of "History of Italian Literature" in Italian high schools. What is not in this lesson: the general info on the Divine Comedy, on the age of its composition, on the transmission of the work, on its critical fortune, on the themes it develops. Nor is there any news on Dante's other works which also constitute capital experiences that the poet reworks in his major work. Instead, the text is focused on the story-time of the poem: the Divine Comedy is a great story that takes place over a week. The original essay (Il cammino e la pietate) was written in Italian, and published on the site www.nelmezzodelcammin.it, from where it can be freely downloaded. This English translation is a work in progress. After this first lesson, the next one will focus on the places of history, the environments in which the story takes place. The translation of the second lesson will be available starting in May 2019.