Giovanni Boccaccio spent his boyhood in the hills about Settignago in the woods above the Mensola and the valley of the Affrico. There is little information available regarding his early years. According to the writings of Giovanni , he was able to read and write at the age of seven, further with Giovanni di Domenico Mazzuoli da Strada he began the study of grammar. (Hutton, E. 12) After that Giovanni was set to study Mathematics and the more he knew about accounting and bookkeeping, the more he hated it. Still hoping to see the son prosperous in a classical way, Giovanni’s father sent him Naples to become a merchant. Giovanni writes later, that “If my father had dealt wisely with me I might have been among the great poets.” (Hutton, E. 19) Either this way or the other, Giovanni ended up studying law, which, as it seems, he enjoyed no more then banking. The studying of the law allowed him to establish good contact with students. Humanists Barbato da Sulmona and Giovanni Barrili, and the theologian Dionigi da San Sepolcro should be emphasized when it comes to speaking about the early influences of Boccaccio. Giovanni managed to put up with his stepmother until the moment, when she gave birth to his stepbrother – Francesco. The reflections of Giovanni back on his childhood seem to be filled with grief and sorrow. (Hutton, E. 15-20). Boccaccio saw Maria d'Acquino, a married woman and natural daughter of King Robert, in 1334 for the first time. The woman was the inspiration of his early works, once coming into his life, she never left him. The golden hair, shining eyes, and the milk-white skin, her love was the greatest prize of his youth. (Hutton, E. 30) Even though the fact that Boccaccio found his inspiration in a woman can hardly be doubted, still there is no documental proof that Maria ever existed and was not a product of wild imagination of one of the greatest writers that had ever existed. The reason why particular consideration should be given to the early years of Boccaccio and his first romantic love is that these events pre-determined his further life. Maria introduced Boccaccio to court and merged him to write.
2. Petrarch: Lifelong Friend and Teacher
After being called by father back to Florence in 1341, Boccaccio met his lifelong friend and master Petrarch. Undoubtedly, ever since the moment in 1350, when Boccaccio met Petrarch, he was under his influence. This resulted in a