Petrarch and the places he lived

Arqua Petrarca

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To Francesco Petrarca,

The quaint town of Arqua does not look like it has changed much at all since your residence there six centuries ago! The cobblestone streets wind their way around the hill, effectively hiding Casa Petrarca from inquiring eyes. After a three mile walk from the nearest bus station, and some energetic charades with the locals, I was able to find the house where you spent the last years of your life.

As I mounted the steps to begin my tour, I noticed that the few other pilgrims present shared a sort of reverence for this place, perhaps as recognition of the workshop where such works of genius were created, or perhaps more as respect for a shrine marking the place where you drew your last breath. Even more than the modest house, what struck me the most was the setting you chose: a quiet corner with surrounding hills, offering a setting very similar to Vaucluse. It was in this garden that you loved to wander, safe from the press of worldly affairs, and it was in this small study that you finally laid your head upon your beloved books.

 

Written this 24th day of July, in the year of Our Lord 2011.

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