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Arqua' Petrarca, Province of Padova, Veneto

This picturesque medieval borough located at the eastern side of the Euganei Hills, with a healthy climate and position away from busy routes, is also famous as the retreat of Italian poet Petrarch, who spent here the last decades of his life.

Info

  • Altitude: 80 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 1800 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 35032
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0429
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Provinces of Veneto

History

The name comes from the Latin "Arquatum", used to describe the gently sloping hills where the town rose, then in 1860 the name of the poet Petrarch was added. The area was inhabited by the Veneti, coming from Asia Minor, about 1000 years BC, then came under Roman control around 50 BC.

In 990 AD the name of a castle in Arquatum appears in the dowry of Ada, daughter of emperor Otho I. In the 13th century Arquà was under the Republic of Padua, in 1405 came under the control of the Venetian Republic, which in 1797 was sold by Napoleon to Austria. Finally in 1866, with the Third War of Italian Independence, Veneto became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Events

  • Second and third Sundays in October: Sagra della Giuggiola.

What to see

  • Petrarch's Tomb, in the main square, made in red marble in 1380, a few years after the poet's death.
  • The House of Petrarch, still existing in the higher part of the town, near Piazza San Marco, which is today a Meseum with original objects of the poet's life.
  • The church of Santa Maria, containing frescoes from the 11th to the 14th century, and a fine polyptich by Iacobello di Bonomo, a work dated 1375.