The poet who loved Fontaine de Vaucluse

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The great Florentine poet Francesco Petrarch (1304 – 1374) came to the Comtat in the early 14th Century to avoid the political strife endemic in Italy during that period.

He travelled to the great city of Avignon, as many intellectuals did, and attended the Papal Court where he soon established his reputation as a poet. It was here in Avignon that he met the beautiful Laura de Noves with whom he fell in love. As a married lady Laura was unobtainable and Petrarch wrote about her in true troubador style while their relationship remained platonic.

He retired to Fontaine de Vaucluse at the age of 33 where he spent much time beside the spectacular Fontaine itself and the River Sorgue during which he wrote his masterpiece the Canzonière consisting of 336 sonnets all dedicated to Laura.

Laura died from the plague in 1348 and while Petrarch stayed in Fontaine for a while he eventually returned to Italy to live near Padua where he died in 1374

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