DISCOVER THE VILLAGE

PLACES AND MONUMENTS

PETRARCH’S HOUSE

The original structure of the house dates back to the 13th century. Built on two levels, the house had been modified by Petrarch himself, who wanted some windows to be opened on the main façade and divide the lodging into two separates units. He reserved for his family the left side of the highest floor, while the servitude lived in the right side, where the main entrance was located. During the 16th century, after the poet’s death, Paolo Valdezzocco became owner of the house and decided to build a lodge in the Renaissance style and the outdoor staircase. He also ordered to paint the walls with frescoes inspired by Petrarch’s works Il Canzoniere and Africa. The building currently houses a permanent exhibition of the poet’s works and personal items. Petrarch’s House is located in via Valleselle, 14. March-october from 10:00 to 12:30 and from 15:30 to 19:00. November-february from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 14:30 to 17:30. Last admission 30 minutes before closing time. Petrarch’s House is closed on Monday, unless a public holiday, on Christmas Day, Dec 26th, Jan 1st and May 1st.

TICKETS: Full Price euro 4,00 – Reduced Price euro 2.00. Bookings at +39 0429 718294  –  Groups and school groups should book at info.casadelpetrarca@gmail.com.

ORATORIO SS TRINITÀ E LOGGIA DEI VICARI

The first mention of the Oratory dedicated to the Holy Trinity, located in the highest part of Arquà, dates back to 1181. The poet Petrarch often came to this church to pray. During the 14th century, the Oratory was enlarged and frescoed. In 1400 the apse was added. Inside, the wooden altar of the 17th century and the magnificent altar piece by Palma il Giovane – one of the famous Mannerist artist – represents the Holy Trinity. The painting in the front, depicting the Resurrection of Christ, dates back to the 17th century as well. Near the altar, there is a painted stone statue of Saint Christopher. It is important to mention the presence of a valuable painting by Giovanni Battista Pellizzari, one of the most important artists of the 16th century in Veneto, representing the ordination ceremony of a new vicar. One of the most precious works of art inside this Oratory is the so-called “Polittico di Sant’Agostino” by Jacobello di Bonomo, painted in the second half of the 14th century. Outside, the Loggia dei Vicari (the Vicars’ Lodge ) was the place where the most important families of the village and the vicars met to discuss. The internal part of the building is decorated with the coats of arms of each vicar, who ruled Arquà on behalf of “ La Serenissima” (Venice).

CHIESA DI SANTA MARIA ASSUNTA

This is the main church of Arquà Petrarca. Named for the first time in 1026, it is thought to be older. The church was enlarged during centuries and includes frescoes, dating back to the Scuola Veneta e Bizantina till the 15th century. Inside the church, we can admire the wonderful altar piece by Palma il Giovane, featuring Santa Maria Assunta.

THE FOUNTAIN AND PETRARCH’S TOMB

The fountain is located on the lowest part of the village and it already existed when Petrarch arrived in the village. He went there to get water and probably he supervised the renovation works. A Latin writing is engraved on the frontal arch: “Fonti numen inest, hospes: venerare liquorem, unde bibens cecinit digna Petrarca deis.” It is an invocation to foreigners who come to visit Arquà: a divine god lives in this source and by drinking it, Petrarch was enabled to write his beautiful verses. Because of this reason, the fountain must be venerated and respected. Petrarch’s tomb is in the middle of S. Maria Assunta churchyard. It was settled here in 1874 and renewed in 1965. Six years after Petrarch’s death, his son in law, Francescuolo da Brossano, inspired by Antenore’s tomb in Padua, decided to build a red marble tomb in order to give the right commemoration to the poet. The tomb has two inscriptions, one wanted by Petrarch himself, and the other, on the first step around, by his son in law: “FRIGIDA FRANCISCI LAPIS HIC TEGIT OSSA PETRARCE; SUSCIPE VIRGO PARENS ANIMAM; SATE VIRGINE PACE. FESSAQ(UE) IAM TERRIS CELI REQUIESCAT IN ARCE”.

COSTA LAKE

The pile dwelling of “ Laghetto della Costa” occupied the south-west side, as it was highlighted by the archaeological excavations carried out in the years 1885-1886, 1901, and 1909 by Federico Cordenons and in 1906 by Alfonso Alfonsi. The most part of archaeological finds (mainly pottery, bones and antler artefacts and stone tools) can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum in Este and at the Civic Archaeological Museum in Padua. Such finds prove the long lasting of settlement, from the final part of the Copper Age to the beginning of the late Bronze Age. Several small jugs with egg-shaped or trunk-conical outlines made of coarse black ceramic, and bones and antler artefacts date back to that period. The village lied along the south-west shoreline, and was perhaps divided into more settlement zones, with pile-dwellings constructions mainly of the type “su bonuifica” described by the excavators as structures with big horizontal oak-wood beams. The beams were coupled and supported by piles dug into the lake mud and the structures filled up with different size branches and big stones. In the area of excavation carried out by Alfonsi a double alignment of piles was discovered; such piles were dug into lake mud at a regular distance with no function, probably just to define the village. The preservation of one of the small piles, which was found at the side of a planking floor, has allowed to obtain a radiocarbon date of 3675 – 29 B.C.

Recently the application to declare the lake an Unesco world heritage site has been accepted.

VALSANZIBIO HISTORIC GARDEN

The symbolic set up of the garden, realized between 1665 and 1696, with its abundant beauty, its unusual amusements and the major message entrusted by its Founder, ranges as one of the most vast and complete historic gardens in the world and was awarded with the first prize as ‘the most beautiful garden in Italy’ in 2003 and as the third most beautiful in Europe in 2007. This exceptional example of baroque gardens consist of more than 60 statues, engraved in Istria stone and many other different minor sculptures that integrate into a world of architectures, streams, waterfalls, fountains, small ponds, water games and fish ponds, between hundreds of different trees and plants, over an area of more than 10 hectares. Furthermore, inside the monumental complex and essential stage within the itinerary of salvation, there is the century-old boxwood maze, the symbolic Hermit’s Grotto, the Rabbits Island and the Monument to Time.

Web site www.valsanzibiogiardino.it
Email info@valsanzibiogiardino.it
INFO VISITS/RESERVATIONS HISTORIC GARDEN Ph +39 340 0825844