Francesco Petrarca

Francesco Petrarca, known as Petrarch (Arezzo, 1304 – Arqua, 1374) was an Italian renaissance poet.

His father was a notary and two years before Petrarch was born he was banished from Florence. His family lived in Pisa and then moved to Avignon.

In 1316 Petrarch started his studied in Bologna with his brother Gerard and 10 years later he went back to Avignon where he built his social life. The popularity he created followed him his whole life.

In 1327 in Avignon he saw Laura. That encounter marked his whole life. He stayed devoted to her even though the love was never mutual. He was 23 and his obsession with Laura lasted a life time. The Canzoniere emerged from that same obsession.

He worked for Cardinal Giacomo Colonne for 17 years and then he traveled Europe. In 1350 he met Boccaccio and they became friends.

In 1361 the plague started and Petrarch went to Venice.

He spent the last 13 years of his life in Arqua, Italy and he died there on July 19th, 1374.

He influenced the European writing with his Canzoniere and his style. His other famous works are: "Africa", "Secretum" and "On Famous Men".


"Canzoniere" is a book of poems composed out of two parts. Thanks to this work Petrarca, whose name was anglicized as Petrarch, became famous. The whole book of poems is inspired by his great love for Laura. This work served as a patter for other generations of writers. This book doesn’t offer a simple and a classical love story. The writer didn’t keep a journal in verses of the … [Read more...]