1327: Petrarch Meets his Beloved Laura in Papal Avignon

1327: Petrarch Meets his Beloved Laura in Papal Avignon
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Petrarch first saw Laura in the Church of St. Claire in Avignon and fell in love with her. It remains unknown whether he ever told her.

Petrarch met his beloved Laura for the first time in papal Avignon (that city was the papal seat from 1309 until 1377) on this date in 1327. He was in the Church of St. Claire, where he allegedly saw Laura for the first time. While it remains unclear who precisely was Laura, most believe her full name was Laura de Noves. It was a platonic love that Petrarch expressed through Canzoniere, a famous collection his of poems.

Laura de Noves was probably born in 1310, meaning she was roughly 17 when Petrarch first saw her. She had already been married to Count Hugues de Sade, an ancestor of the famous Marquis de Sade, at the age of 15.

Petrarch’s beloved Laura died in 1348, at the age of around 38, while he lived until 1374. It remains unknown whether Petrarch and Laura ever communicated seriously or if he ever admitted his feelings to her.

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