Arquà Petrarca is a small village in the province of Padua, in the region of Veneto, Italy. It is ranked among the most beautiful villages in Italy and it is the perfect location for a day trip if you're around Padova or the Euganean Hills.
The name derives from the latin word arquatum or arquata (which mean arched) and it was then changed into Arquà by the Republic of Venice. In 1868 Veneto became part of the kingdom of Italy and the village's name was changed to Arquà Petrarca as an homage to the poet Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) who spent his later life and died here in 1374. Today the poet’s house is open to the public and also features a museum dedicated to one of the most important literary figures of all time.
This is definitely the best way to reach the village. From the A13 motorway exit at Monselice and follow directions for Arquà Petrarca, it's only 5km.
The closest station is Montegrotto Terme, around 15 minutes driving from Arquà Petrarca. Another nearby rail station is in Monselice. Once you get off the train you can take a local bus or a taxi.
On foot. The village is so small that you will need only a few hours to see everything.
- Casa del Petrarca (Petrarch's House), via Valleselle, ☎ +39 0429.718294 ([email protected], fax: +39 0429.718294). This is the place where the poet Petrarch spent his later life. The original building dates back to the 13th century and Petrarch himself had it restored and modified in the years between 1369 and 1374 when he died. Inside you will see the poet's studio with (apparently) original chair and library. The rooms are decorated with many frescoes with scenes from the poet's works. edit
- Piazza San Marco e Loggia dei Vicari (St Mark's Square and Vicar's Lodge). The Vicar's lodge dates back to the 13th century, it was the place where heads of families would discuss with the Vicars. The roof was demolished in 1828 and then rebuilt in 2003 in glass and copper. edit
- Oratorio SS Trinità (Oratory of the Holy Trinity), via Castello. The oratory was first mentioned in the year 1181. Francesco Petrarca often came here to pray. The oratory features some great works of art such as the altar by Palma il Giovane, the statue of Saint Christopher, the Polittico di Sant'Agostino by Jacobello di Bonomo which dates back to the second half of the 14th century. edit
- Laghetto della Costa. This is a small lake close to the village where you can see a prehistoric pile dwellings which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. edit
There a few places where you can eat and drink local products such as wine, olive oil and chestnuts. Ziziphus is often used to prepare dishes and cakes.
- Ristorante La Montanella, Via dei Carraresi, 9, ☎ +39 0429 718200 ([email protected]), . 12:30 - 14:30; 19:30 - 22:30; closed Tuesday evening and Wednesday. edit
- Hotel Villa del Poeta, via Zane 5 (500 metres from the main square), ☎ 39 0429 777918 ([email protected]), . Beautiful hotel close to the village, thay also have a very good restaurant called "Il Canzoniere". edit