A document from 985 attests, in Arquà, to the presence of a castle inhabited by Rodolfo Normanno. It is precisely on the high ground where the ancient castle stood (named Monte Castello in memory of the fortifications that have now disappeared), that the original medieval nucleus from which the Borgo later inhabited by Petrarca developed can be identified. The locality in the 13th century became a fief of the Marquis d’Este, and then entered the political orbit of Padua. Elevated, finally, by the Carrarese seigniory to the rank of vicariate, it was then that Arquà had the good fortune to host Petrarca and receive his mortal remains.
Under the rule of the Serenissima, since 1405 taken over from the Carrarese dominion, Arquà kept intact the wide vicariate jurisdiction that included many centers of the Euganei area such as Galzignano, Montegrotto, Abano until Valbona. During that period, Petrarca’s fame and fashion prompted several aristocratic families from Padua and Venice (the Contarini, Pisani, Capodivacca, Zabarella, etc.) to build mansions of noble workmanship. The town thus completed the urban layout that it still retains today, and after the 16th century not much more was built. At the fall of the Venetian Republic Arquà lost importance; only in 1866, after the annexation of Veneto to Italy, was it elevated to the dignity of a municipality, and in 1868 it was able to add to the name of Arquà that of Petrarca.