MUNICIPALITY OF ARQUA’ PETRARCA
mt. 6 a.s.l.
1860 (415 in the borgo)
Town hall, Ph. 0429 777100
Tourist office, via Castello 6 – Ph. 0429 777327
The borgo has got a curved form similar to an arch, the original name was Arquatum (Latin), then modified in Arquade and Arquà. The word Petrarca was added in 1868.
The light colored stone of its buildings, its churches and its town houses (built for the rich Venetian families) are surrounded by an atmosphere of peace and serenity.
Along the winding roads climbing from the lower to the upper town, you’ll reach a rural area which begins with stone houses and continues with the old wash houses and drinking troughs, Fontana del Petrarca (which actually existed before Petrarch’s arrival, but the poet surely used it to get water) and ending with the Church of Santa Maria Assunta.
In the middle of the churchyard there is Petrarca’s tomb, built in red Verona marble six years after his death.
The church (first document about it was written in 1026) was recently restored,and has frescoes by the Venetian Byzantine school, a 14th century polyptych, and an altarpiece by Palma il Giovane.
Arriving at Piazza Petrarca in the upper town, you’ll find Palazzo Contarini, built in the 15th century Venetian Gothic style and, next to it, the picturesque “del Guerriero” tavern, now closed. Leaving the square and reaching Via Roma there is a Romanesque house with Gothic elements, and a small dwelling with a niche and a fresco , former a hospital for beggars in the early 1300s.
Around the corner there is Villa Alessi, originally built in the 14th century and then restored in 1789.
At the end of the climb there is the magnificent Oratory of the Santissima Trinità, with the Loggia dei Vicari, once embellished with the coats of arms of the Paduan nobles who governed Arquà for Venice. The Oratory houses a canvas by Palma il Giovane (1626) and the remains of frescoes. Near the oratory there is a lovely house rebuilt in the 16th century, with a broad balcony facing the surrounding hills.
After the column with the Venetian Lion from 1612, we enter in Via Valleselle to arrive at the house of Petrarca.
Surrounded by greenery and the gardens that Petrarca himself tended, the house according to tradition, it was given to him by the lord of Padua, Francesco il Vecchio from Carrara. Petrarca lived there between 1370 and 1374, and he made it bigger and improved it. In the 16th century the small loggia and frescoes inspired by his works were added, and additional changes were also made over time. The fascination of this place, which of course is considerably changed today in its general structure and interior spaces from when Petrarch lived there, still lives in its evocative power based on the peace and the serenity of the landscape, which is more or less the same enjoyed by the poet.
Jujube is the local product of Arquà, which holds a festival in honor of this fruit.
Bigoli with ragù: thick handmade spaghetti served with a ragù of beef, veal, pork, porcini mushrooms and tomato sauce.
Ristorante La Montanella
Ristoratori con passione dal 1952, con una biblioteca culinaria e antichi testi. La struttura, con vista panoramica sul borgo e i Colli Euganei, è immersa in un giardino di ulivi secolari. Il Papero alla frutta e il risotto alla quaglia, sono tra i piatti più rappresentativi. Cantina con oltre 600 etichette di vini.
Via dei Carraresi, 9
+39 0429 718200