Place of Interest
Adopted home of Francesco Petrarca
Picturesquely beautiful, the small village of Arquà Petrarca is situated below the slopes of Monte Ventolone. The small town is the adopted home of the poet Francesco Petrarch, who died here in 1374. Along with Boccaccio and Dante, Petrarch is as one of the most famous Italian poets. Petrarch's villa can still be seen today in the village, which adopted the surname of the poet after his death. Inside the Casa del Petrarca you will find photos documenting the poet's life. Furthermore, old pieces of furniture are on display in the villa as well as facsimiles of the writings of Petrarch. The interior walls were painted with frescoes in the 16th century, representing Francesco Petrarch's life.
At the main square of Arquà Petrarca in front of the church Santa Maria there is the mighty sarcophagus of Petrarch, made of red Verona marble. Repeated thefts have left us nowadays with a Petrarch devoid of some appendages, including his right arm, which disappeared without a trace. DNA analysis in 2004 also showed that the skull in the tomb is from a woman – but the remaining bones might in fact be of Francesco Petrarch himself. The church of Santa Maria, by the way, is also worth a brief look – it is painted with beautiful medieval frescoes.