Petrarch was born in Arezzo, Tuscany, in 1304. In 1311 his family moved to Avignon (France), where the papacy was located at that time. His father, expelled from Florence for political reasons, hoped to find there a new home for his family.

They settled in Carpentras and the young Francesco began to study grammar and rhetoric. He was very interested in writing and Latin literature. Trying to obey to his father’s will, he moved to Montpellier and Bologna to study law with his brother Gherardo.

After the death of his parents, Petrarch gave up on his studies and he went back to Avignon in 1326. In this city he worked for many clerical offices and these jobs allowed him spare time to devote to his writing.

On the 6th of April of the same year he saw Laura for the first time in Santa Chiara Church. This noble woman, loved by Petrarch for the rest of his life, was the poet’s inspiration to compose Rerum Vulgarium fragmenta, known as Il Canzoniere, the symbol of his spiritual life. In 1330, he became the Chaplain at the service of Cardinal Giovanni Colonna. He had the chance to travel Northern Europe and Italy, finally stopping in Fontaine de Vaucluse, a quiet place near Avignon, where he lived for fifteen years. In 1341, he was crowned Poet Laureate in Rome and two years later he was in Parma, where he worked on the Rerum Memorandum Libri and on the poem Africa, where he praised the power of the Ancient Rome and the great Roman general Scipio Africanus.

From 1345 to 1347, he went back to Vaucluse where he wrote The Secretum, an intensely introspective work. He came back to Parma again in 1348, where he was informed of Laura’s death. In 1349, he was invited by Giacomo II° da Carrara to visit Padua. Thanks to his friend, the archbishop Ildebrandrino Conti, he received an amount of 200 golden ducats and a house near the Padua Cathedral. At the end of March 1351, his friend Boccaccio, one of the most important writers of the Italian literature, came to Padua to visit him. He informed Petrarch that the possessions confiscated in Florence to his father, in 1302, were given back to him. After this period in Padua, in 1353 the poet was hosted by the Visconti, the ruler family of Milan, and spent there eight years. In 1361, he came back to Padua, where he learnt that his 25 years-old son Giovanni had died of plague.

It is believed that Petrarch visited Arquà for the first time in 1364, while he was in Abano Terme for thermal treatments. During the next few years, Petrarch stayed in Venice, but in 1368 he returned to Padua, hosted by Francesco il Vecchio da Carrara. At that time the poet was more than 60 years old: the long travels, his diplomatic duties and the relationships with all the most powerful figures had tired him and made him weaker. For this reason, he wanted to find a permanent residence, in a quiet place. So, in 1369, Francesco il Vecchio bought for him a house in Arquà Petrarca, where he decided to settle. In the same year, he supervised the renovation works of the house, where he started living the following year.

Arquà has been described by the poet as “rich of green vegetation and full of peace”. This place recalled him Tuscany, his beloved place of origin. That’s why he decided to spend here the last few years of his life. He passed away in the night between July 18th and 19th 1374, at the age of 70. His daughter was married with Francescuolo da Brossano, a merchant from Milan, that the Poet loved as a son. After the death of the poet, he decided to build a monumental tomb for the poet on the churchyard of S. Maria Assunta Church in the main square of the village.