Laure and Petrarch in love still haunt the Cordeliers in Avignon

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The convent - ©Sinuhe20 / CC-BY-SA The convent - ©Sinuhe20 / CC-BY-SA
Cordeliers convent in Avignon Convent Love story Pétrarque

Laure and Petrarch

This is the vestige of the old and beautiful convent raised by Cordeliers brothers in 1233... only left a chapel and a bell-tower...

And yet, do you know here, the tender Laure, beloved by poet Petrarch, was buried in the convent chapel? Laure de Noves was born in Avignon in 1310, the daughter of Audibert de Noves and Ermessende de Réal. She married Hugues de Sade in 1325... yes, the famous marquis ancestor!

One fine morning of April 6th 1327, Petrarch saw her for the first time, in front of Sainte-Claire church, in Avignon. The famous Italian poet came in Avignon when he was a kid, because his family was exiled from Florence during civil wars. He quickly fell in love with Laure and decided she would be his muse. He was 23 years-old, she was 17.

But Laure was married... Madly in love with her, obsessed, he wrote the Canzoniere ("The Songwriter") for her, between Avignon and Fontaine-de-Vaucluse: to celebrate her beauty, her nobility... He was waiting for her, he was just happy if he could see her, just for a second!

Oh, there, with her ladies friends, he heard her singing. There, he saw her walking on the river Sorgue's bank. And when she lost a glove, he ran, picked it up and brought it back, just to see her eyes...

Laure’s grave

But she died of plague at the age of 40 years-old, in 1348. She left 11 children and a husband. Petrarch will survive 26 years... In 1533, they rediscovered Laure’s grave: they found few remains but above all a small box: inside, a scroll with an Italian poem... oh, a poem wrote by Petrarch?? Probably! The grave was destroyed during the Revolution...


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