A Poet’s Paradise in the Colli Euganei

Arquà Petrarca: The pearl of the Colli Euganei, Veneto

This could more accurately be nicknamed ‘the city of flowers’, as all residents seem to have taken it upon themselves to adorn their window ledges with boxes of blooming, brightly coloured displays.

This borgo is historically notable as the chosen retirement sanctuary of Petrarch, the 14th century humanist scholar and poet. Perhaps it was the green shades of the hills that change colour many times a day, or the warm burnt orange of the houses nestled into the sea of green which seem like something from Tuscany, or maybe it was just something in the air. It certainly boasts a serene spirit, and Petrarch described his resting place as the ‘paese di vigilia’, a place for internal reflection and thought before the next life in paradise (vigilia meaning eve). Beside the church of Santa Maria Assunta you can find his tomb made from red marble of Verona. You can also visit his house, which he designed himself. From a little balcony above the door you can admire a calming vista of the gentle hills. The house is decorated with 14th century frescos. Here Petrarch died literally resting on his books. Information on prices and openings times can be found here.

Inside you can visit his study, admire the charming fresco work and see his mummified cat…

Food and Drink Recommendations: 

Try the local speciality drink brodo di giuggiole, made from jujube berries, at the Enoteca Il Giuggiolo.

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Visit Enoteca di Arquà for tasting some local wines with nibbles of cheese and local hams.

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