Pietro Aretine

Pietro Aretino, nicknamed "the Divine," emerges as one of the most fascinating and controversial literary figures of the Italian Renaissance. Born with modest origins in Arezzo in 1492, his life was marked by an extraordinary rise to prominence as an intellectual and celebrated writer , whose sharp pen spared no criticism of the powerful of his time.
pietro aretino - Pietro of Arezzo

Pietro Aretine: son of a courtesan with the soul of a king

Pietro Aretine , known as “the Divine”; he was a poet , writer and playwright.

Aretine was born in Arezzo on April 19, 1492, from a relationship between the poor shoemaker Luca del Buta and the courtesan Margherita Bonci, called Tita, who was a model for several painters and sculptors.

Little else is known about Pietro Aretine’s childhood : it is said that the poet himself did not want to talk about his origins or make his name known. Pietro liked to call himself a “son of a courtesan with a king’s soul.”

Early studies and experiences in Rome

Of the early stages of Pietro Aretine’s life, precisely, we know little. Biographers are certain, however, that at about the age of fourteen the poet lived in Perugia, where he studied painting and later attended university.

In 1517, aged 25, Pietro moved to Rome through the mediation of Agostino Chigi, who was also a patron of Raphael. Aretine was a servant of Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici and thus ended up at the court of Pope Leo X.

His Roman period thus lasted several years , prolific years during which Pietro wrote his Pasquinas. Qthis work, satirical poems that echoed the anonymous protests against the Roman Curia posted on the bust of Pasquino in Piazza Navona cost Pietro dearly. He was in fact exiled from the Eternal City by the new pontiff, the Flemish Adrian VI, whom the poet called “the German ringworm”.

Clement VII, the next pope, finally allowed him to return to Rome in 1523 without, however, appeasing that feeling of impatience that Peter had meanwhile begun to feel toward the courts and ecclesiastical circles.

The Poetic Work of Pietro Aretine

The Poet of Arezzo is best known for his works considered by his contemporaries to be marked by contempt for the norms of modesty and decency. In fact, Pietro wrote the very famousSonetti Lussuriosi , a work of 1526 that consists of two books of sixteen and thirteen sonnets with erotic themes. These twenty-nine compositions were inspired by the erotic engravings made by the painter Marcantonio Raimondi from drawings by Giulio Romano, published in 1524.

Pietro Aretine wrote, immediately after the sonnets, the collection “Dubbi Amorosi,”which includes thirty-one compositions, in octaves or quatrains, centered on problems concerning sex. The work sets forth the doubts, precisely, of husbands, women, prostitutes, friars and abbesses, to which at the end of each exposition the author offers a solution. Pietro Aretine, with these solutions, thus conveys maxims and morals, allowing us to better understand the author’s own view of the world and human beings.

Aretine in Venice

Peter left Rome in 1525 and after a brief period in Mantua-in the service of Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, with whom he formed a deep friendship-he moved to Venice.

Aretine at this time was called “the divine,” and Ariosto himself called him in Orlando Furioso “the scourge of princes.”

Venice was at the time a very free city, home, according to Aretine himself, to every possible vice. Peter was therefore very much at home, and he stayed here until the end of his days.

“A laugh will bury you”

His death, which occurred on October 21, 1556, has become legendary: in fact, according to some, the poet died of laughter while in a tavern – who knows what amused him so much!

Final Thoughts on Pietro Aretine

In a society where art and politics danced intertwined in a continuous ballet of passions, where audacity mingled with culture and ambition touched the heavens, Pietro Aretine, with his sharp pen, stood as a monument, as a living witness to an unparalleled era.

In his essence, in the ardor with which he lived, the love with which he composed, and the temerity with which he faced every adversity, Aretine embodied the spirit of a golden age. The mastery of legendary artists such as Titian, Raphael, and Parmigianino gravitated around him, tracing the

portrait of an effervescent world, where art was more than a passion: it was a breath, a throb, a way of life.

The impertinent Italian pen

And while France enjoyed the brilliant sarcasm of Rabelais, Italy had its own knight, Pietro Aretine, who with his infectious laughter and impertinent pen, urged everyone not to take the follies of the world too seriously. A world where love, passion, honor and

glory were reflected in the waters of Venice, in those golden reflections of sunset, shadows and lights mingling in a perpetual play of contrasts.

The beauty of a Past perhaps lost forever

Who knows if there will ever be another period when humanity will see such a conjunction of genius, daring and beauty as that experienced during the time of Aretine. A period when every man, every woman, every artist sought to surpass himself, to touch the impossible, to imagine

the unthinkable.

At Antiche Mura all this at your fingertips

For those who wish to immerse themselves in the Arezzo atmosphere, reliving history and savoring the past, the B&B Antiche Mura is the ideal base. Located in the heart of Arezzo, it is the perfect starting point for exploring the wonders of the city, immersing yourself in a thousand-year history that

still resonates today in the alleys and squares. Staying at Antiche Mura provides the opportunity not only to enjoy the artistic and cultural beauty, but also to feel part of a timeless narrative. Every corner of the city tells stories of giants of the past such as Pietro

Aretine: wait no longer and come visit us!







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