Event > The house of Francesco Petrarca

THE HOUSE OF FRANCESCO PETRARCA at Arquà near Padova: let's discover it together! In 1369, Francesco Petrarca (Arezzo 1304-Arquà 1374), tired of his continual peregrinations, and by now old and hill, had one of the houses in the Euganean village of Arquà adapted to his requirements, and elected to live in it for the rest of his days. Here, he was surrounded by old and new friends and  by the member of his family: his daughter Francesca, his son-in-law Francescuolo da Brossano, and his grand-daughter Eletta. And it was here that he died, his head resting on his beloved books, in the night of 18-19 July 1374.
Petrarch’s house was perhaps given to him by Francesco I da Carrara, a lord of Padova and one of his good friends. Petrarch decided to restore it, suiting it to his purposes and personally following the building alterations. He had the two sections of which the original house was composed joined together, and had the upper floor of the left-hand building turned into a residence for himself and his family. The right-hand building, slightly higher, housed the servants’ quarters  and was also used for other domestic purpose. There was a garden in front and a kitchen-garden behind. Petrarch devoted considerable attention to caring for his plants, although he was not always successful. Inside the house, the poet changed the arrangement of the rooms. The windows were recreated in Gothic style, and the two balconies and three fireplaces were added.
After Petrarch’s death, the house had several owners, but the building itself was not changed in any substantial way. Quite soon, it came to be considered as the setting for Petrarch’s memories and was a place of literary and sentimental pilgrimage.
In the mid-Cinquecento, the new owner Paolo Valdezzocco had the walls decorated  with frescoes inspired by Petrarch’s works, paintings which may still admired. He added the small loggia and the outside staircase, which is still used to reach the first floor.
The last private owner, Cardinal Pietro Silvestri, in 1875 left the house to the City of Padova.


via Valleselle 4, Arquà (Padova)
tel. +39 0429 718294
opening times: 09:00-12:30 / 15:00-19:00
entry is permetted untill30 min before closing
closed: mondays (unless public holidays)
tickets: full price euro 4,00
reduce price  euro 2,00
Petrarca's House can only be reached with visitors' own transport
parking (limited space): from piazza Petrarca 15 min on foot
from piazza S.Marco 10 min on foot
  • via Valleselle 4
    Arquà Petrarca (PD)


The institutes called the City Museums of Padova (Musei Civici di Padova) include the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art, the Scrovegni Chapel and Palazzo Zuckermann (Museum of Applied Arts and Bottacin Museum). They contain the permanent collections of public property; during the year many  interesting activities take place, such as: cultural events, exhibitions, concerts, conventions.
Company Contacts
via Porciglia 35
35121 - Padova (PD)
+39 049 8204513 padovacultura.padovanet.it/musei
Further information
The Museums had their origins in various collections of works of art, gathered together over the centuries. After the official institution in 1857, collections of books, paintings, sculptures and applied arts all arrived, bearing witness to the history of Padova, from its remote origins until the present day. In 1985, the main museum was transferred to the cloisters of the old Eremitani monastery.
The original collection of the Archaeological Museum was represented by the stone tablets and other artefacts arranged in the loggias of the Palazzo della Ragione. The exhibition begins with objects of pre-Roman age, with findings of great interest going back to the 8th to the 4th-3rd centuries B.C.. There is an important series of Venetic funerary stelae, including those of Ostiala Gallenia. and from Camin. The Roman section is amply represented, with the bust of Silenus, the elegant memorial stone of the dancer Claudia Toreuma, and the monumental tomb of the Volumnii family. There are also many mosaics. The rooms devoted to Egyptian antiquities have two very fine statues of the goddess Sekhmet. Other smaller rooms contain Greek, Etruscan and Italiot materials, a large collection of Greek and Apulian vases. Architectural examples of Roman age are displayed in the cloisters.
Initiated in the late 18th century, the Art Museum now boasts a total of about three thousand paintings, offering a panoramic view of Veneto work in this field from the early 14th to the 19th centuries. Here are works by Giotto, Squarcione, J. Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Romanino, Bassano, Veronese, Tintoretto, Piazzetta and Tiepolo, and also ones by foreign artists, mainly Flemish and Dutch. The Lapidarium contains architectural and decorative fragments coming from the city of Padova and its surroundings. The rich collection of sculptures going back to the 14th-16th centuries contains works by Briosco, the Lombardo family, and Canova. There is also an important section devoted to bronze sculptures, an expressive form which flourished in Padova in Renaissance times.
In 1300, a wealthy Paduan seigneur, Enrico Scrovegni, purchased the area of the Roman Arena in order to construct a sumptuous palazzo to be used as his residence. Next to this, he wished to build a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, in suffrage of his father Reginaldo, mentioned by Dante in Canto XVII of the Inferno, accused of being a usurer. After having met Giotto, Scrovegni commissioned the artist to decorate the Chapel. According to the most reliable statements, Giotto carried out this work between 1303 and 1305. The frescoes entirely cover the walls and ceiling of the building, and narrate episodes in the lives of the Virgin Mary and Christ. The vaulted ceiling is a blue star-spangled sky. The narration is depicted in three bands of frescoes on the walls and the triumphal arch. Under there is a basement of imitation marble, showing the Vices and Virtues in appropriate niches. Above the entrance is the Universal Judgement. The crucifix, which once completed the decoration of the Chapel, may today be admired in a hall of the City Museum. The altar holds statues by Giovanni Pisano.
The Multimedial Room at the Scrovegni Chapel includes an itinerary conposed of virtual-reality stations, video clips and real reconstructions. Visitors can experience full immersion in the 14th-century world of Giotto and of his painting, and come to know all about the great Tuscan artist, his work, and his life and times. The project also foresees the need to regulate the flow of visitors to the Chapel, in order to safeguard the precious frescoes.
Still conceived in late 19th-century style, Palazzo Zuckermann was designed by the Milanese architect Aroso, for the Paduan industrialist Enrico Zuckermann, in the years immediately preceding the First World War. The collections of applied and decorative arts are housed on the ground and first floors, and the numismatic displays of the Bottacin Museum on the second floor.

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