Biography of Francesco Petrarch
Francesco Petrarcha was born in Arezzo of a family exiled from Florence in 1301. His father was a notary. He studied at Montpellier University and at law school, and became chaplain to Cardinal Colonna. He travelled in France, Flanders and Germany. He met his idealized woman, Laura, in 1327. She died of the Black Death in 1348. His series of love sonnets and other poems strongly influenced subsequent European poetry, for example Wyatt and Sidney in England. He settled at Vaucluse near Avignon, but, after the plague of 1362, moved to Padua and then Arqua, in the Euganean Hills, where he died, in July 1374, on or near his birthday, at the age of seventy.
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Diana was never more pleasing to her lover,
when, by a stroke of fate, he saw her naked,
shown in the deep pool of icy water,
than I was by the mountain shepherdess,
standing there to wash her delightful veil,
that keeps blonde, lovely hair from the wind’s stress,