Francesco Petrarch (July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374), (Petrarca in Italian) was an Italian scholar and poet, and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism". In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based on Petrarch's works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio, and, to a lesser extent, Dante Alighieri. Petrarch would be later endorsed as a model for Italian style by the Accademia della Crusca. Petrarch's sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry. He is also known for being the first to develop the concept of the "Dark Ages".
Padua (Italian: Padova [ˈpaːdova] ( listen), Latin: Patavium, Venetian: Padoa, German Padua (historically: Esten) is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 214,000 (as of 2011[update]). The city is sometimes included, with Venice (Italian Venezia) and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having a population of c. 1,600,000.
Padua stands on the Bacchiglione River, 40 km (25 mi) west of Venice and 29 km (18 mi) southeast of Vicenza. The Brenta River, which once ran through the city, still touches the northern districts. Its agricultural setting is the Venetian Plain (Pianura Veneta). To the city's south west lies the Euganaean Hills, praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch, Ugo Foscolo, and Shelley.