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FRANCIS PETRARCH ( 1304-1374 )

The first modern lyric poet, the great Francesco Petrarca was born in this house on 20th July, 1304. His father, Ser Petracco, a friend of Dante Alighieri, had been exiled from Florence and found himself in Arezzo. Petrarca spent his life in various cities, frequently moving around Italy and Europe, often with important missions and responsibilities in the Courts of Lords and Cardinals. The meeting at Avignon in 1327 with Laura, the female symbol of love poetry was to inspire the “Canzoniere”, which was the most important collection of compositions in vernacular by the cultured Humanist. He later became a model for other poets and on 8th April, 1341 he was crowned ‘great poet and historian’ at Campidoglio in Rome. He withdrew to Arqua in the Province of Padua in 1369, where he died while studying in his own library. Arezzo has honoured him not only with a monument in the ‘Prato’, but also by naming after him the ‘Accademia di Lettere, Arti e Scienze’,which can be found in this building. This is one of the most prestigious institutions in the town. The ‘Liceo Classico’ (by Royal Decree of 4th March 1865 ) was also named after him.


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