Francescuolo da Brossano

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Francescuolo da Brossano was the son-in-law and heir of the Italian medieval poet Petrarch.


Born in Milan, Francescuolo ("Little Francesco") was named executor of Petrarch's testamentum.[1] He married Petrarch's daughter Francesca in 1361, the same year Giovanni (Petrarch's son) died of the plague. Petrarch moved to Venice in the fall of 1362 and lived there for five years.[2] That same year his daughter Francesca, with the young nobleman from Milan, came to Venice and lived with the famous poet at Palazzo Molina. This was shortly after the birth of their first child, a daughter named Eletta. A second grandchild was born in 1366 named Francesco that Petrarch adored. This grandchild however died less than 2 years later.[3]

They lived in a house through 1367 on the most popular promenade in Venice at number 4145 "Riva degli Schiavoni" called Palazzo Molina. Later they moved to Padua taking Petrarch's library with them. Petrarch didn't always live with them, but was much pleased with both his daughter and Francescuolo. He was, however, usually in their company. As executor of Petrarch's estate, Francescuolo da Brossano had some correspondence with Coluccio Salutati. Some of Brossano's letters are published in the public letters of Coluccio Salutati.[4]

Jacques-François-Paul-Aldonce de Sade in his book The Life of Petrarch says of Petrarch's closed casket funeral and reburial six years later by Francescuolo da Brossano in 1380, who built a raised sepulcher of red Verona marble with verses placed on top:[5]

The body of Petrarch dreffed in a flame-colored caffock, which was the habit of the canon of Padua, was carried by sixteen doctors on a bier, covered with a cloth of gold, lined with ermin to the parish church of Arqua, which was hung in a manner fuitable to this folemn ceremony. After the funeral oration, which was pronounced by Bonaventure de Peraga, of the order of the hermits of Saint Augustine; the body was interred in a chapel of the virgin, which Petrarch had built in this church. Some time after Francis da Brossano, having raised a marble tomb on four columns opposite the famed church, had his body removed thither, and engraved three Latin verses to his memory, the rhime is their only merit.

Frigida Francisci tegit hic lapis ossa Petrarcae.
Suscipe, Virgo parens, animam: sate Virgine, parce,
Fessaque jam terris, coeli requiescat in arce." [6]

An article in The New Century Italian Renaissance Encyclopedia says:

Petrarch's love for Laura, deep, real, and lasting as it was did not prevent him from becoming the father of two children by a woman whose name is unknown. A son, Giovanni was born in 1337 and a daughter Francesca in 1343. He had both legitimized by papal bull and did what he thought best for them." In 1368, with his daughter and Francescuolo da Brossano they moved to a house in Arqua, a village in the Euganean Hills near Padua." [7]

That Francescuolo came from Milan is given by Thomas Campbell in an 1879 English translation of the life of Petrarch:[8] "In the same year, 1361, Petrarch married his daughter Francesca, now near the age of twenty, to Francescuolo di Brossano, a gentleman of Milan"

German historian Theodor Ernst Mommsen notes in his translation[9] of Petrarch's testamentum saying in respect to Francescuolo being a native of Milan:

Francesco, or as he was more commonly called Francescuolo, was a native of Milan who held administrative positions first in the service of the Visconti, later in the service of Carrara. In or about the year 1361 he married Petrarch's daughter Francesca, by whom he had a number of children.


  1. ^ Petrach, Francesco
  2. ^ William Dudley Foulke's, "Biographical Introduction to Petrarch" 1915
  3. ^ Kleinhenz, Christopher. "Petrarca, Francesco" Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge, 2004
  4. ^ Coluccio Salutati and his public letters, Ronald G. Witt, Genève: Librairie Droz (1976)
  5. ^ Einaudi Institute, Knowing 14th Century Padua and Veneto Petrarch and Arqua
  6. ^ Jacques-François-Paul-Aldonce de Sade, The Life of Petrarch: Collected from Memoires Pour la Vie de Petrarch, in Two Volumes page 547 - 548
  7. ^ The New Century Italian Renaissance Encyclopedia, New york: Applton-Century-Croft (1972), "Petrarch" (pages 740 - 742)
  8. ^ Campbell, Thomas; Life of Petrarch page 240
  9. ^ Petrarch: Testament, edited, introduced, and translated by Theodor E. Mommsen, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, page 40.


  • Encyclopedia of World Biography. McGraw Hill. 1998. ISBN 9780787625573. 
  • Wilkins, Ernest H. (1961). Life of Petrarch. 

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