We climbed up the steep path leading to the poet’s house, and left the village below us ” a very jewel of a place” with brown tiles on its roofs, and all its shutters closet against the firs warm kiss of June. The joujoub-tree grows in great abundance there at Arqua: its leaf is of a peculiarly fresh and vivid green, and when it casts its boughs across a whitewashed wall, one’s eyes are almost dazzled by the shining vivid texture. The day was very hot and the mists upon the plain obscured the vast view over Lombardy which I had known here in autumn. Fields and trees melted into the heated air like a blue sea, from which church towers and houses emerged as sails upon its bosom. Up and down that steep and pebbly road the women went with pails. There seems to be more water at Arqua than in all the district of the Euganean Hills. At last we reached the house of Petrarch. It stands high on the hill “a small brown house with a loggia and a garden, big iron balconies, and rooms all open to the air ” a fit abode for any poet, and for all sweet souls to sing from. What if it were not his house, or if, as the custode, with a smiling cynicism, said to me in answer to my meaningless inquiry concerning the abode of Laura, ” Laura non fu mai ” ? This house remains the heart’s ideal of poet’s home. We climbed the loggia stairs and entered the cool rooms. From the north and from the south the breezes freely passed and a stayed to play across the poet’s table, and linger round the walls where Petrarch wanders still, in fresco, through golden paths and sunny meadows, there to meet with Laura.
da Days spent on a Doge’s farm, 1893