Landscapes that inspire books

Foto archivio Parco Letterario F. Petrarca

The Francesco Petrarca Literary Park

Take a walk through countless texts, from prose to verse, in the Euganean Hills. The Parco Letterario® Francesco Petrarca is an exceptional environment in which nature, art and history meet. It offers us a unique approach that seeks to interpret landscapes through the emotions immortalised in literary works.


The first literary great to write here was Francesco Petrarca (often known as Petrarch), who spent the last years of his life in Arquá Petrarca. Since then, throughout the centuries, the Euganeas became a destination for incredible literary pilgrimage.

Ugo Foscolo brings us Ortis, along with "Teresa, her father, Odoardo, little Isabellina", exclaiming that "I admired nature that was more beautiful than ever". Meanwhile, if we turn around, it may seem that we see Lord Byron standing in front of the poet’s grave saying "Pillar’d in their sarcophagus, repose/ The bones of Laura’s lover". However, these hills can also provoke melancholy, as Shelley describes them as "flowering islands.../In the waters of wide Agony". Shelley’s daughter died while he was staying in Este with his wife Mary.

You can also choose the charm of walled cities like Este, which for Ariosto in Orlando Furioso is “with good omen... beauteous ground”. Finally, there are those who may experience the same emotion as Widmann, one of the many travellers on this journey who thinks that in Arquá Petrarca “the horizon seems to have no limits. One summer night at this vantage point, the sky blazing with stars above it, the whole plain shining with millions of fireflies and a fragrant breath from the garden roses; You can't really think of a better refuge for a poet”.