According to itypetravel.com, the most ancient literary art experiment of which we have memory, is an allusive riddle to the act of writing, composed, par good, in the Veneto region, at the beginning of the century. IX. Then from that very remote age it is necessary to go down to the century. XII to find texts that in roughness of style and meter and in primitiveness of regional or city language show the intention of achieving both practical and artistic effects. They are among others an inscription of four rhyming hendecasyllables in pairs, dated 1135, which could be read on the arch of the choir of the cathedral of Ferrara; the chant of a Tuscan jester in three monorimic strokes of brass, composed shortly after the middle of the century; the dialect response of a Genoese commoner in the contrast of the Provençal troubadour Rambaldo de Vaqueiras, who asks her for love; and some fragments. With the Cassinese rhythm, a singular composition in the Campania dialect and in stanzas of seven or eight monorimi octonaries closed by two hendecasyllables with a kissed rhyme, where two characters argue allegorically about worldly and spiritual life; with a poem from the Marche of the same meter on S. Alessio, and with an elegy in the Judeo-Italian dialect, also probably of Marche origin, we touch, it seems, the century. XIII, who then sends us numerous voices of poetry from various regions, precursors of what will be the voice of the nation.
Didactic and narrative, sacred and profane is the poetry documented by the lands of northern Italy. Written in local vernaculars or strongly marked by them, if they are generated by not entirely inert fantasies, those documents reflect in a certain wit of inventions and images also qualities typical of the Lombard and Venetian spirit, but mostly have in their content the universality of the legends and doctrines spread by the ecclesiastical tradition.
In the Noie of the Cremonese Girardo Patecchio (in Pateǵ dialect), whose participation in a public act in 1228 is attested, a vein of good humor enlivens the didactic character of the song, modeled on the enuegs Provencal. The Milanese Bonvesin da la Riva, a learned man who lived no later than 1315, has in his copious vulgar writings not only a singular constructive expertise, which reveals a conscious maturity of artistic intent, but also not despicable faculty as a narrator. In the rhymes of an anonymous Genoese notary who lived between the end of the thirteenth century and the early fourteenth century, there is so much imagination to give effective expression to a cultured, facetious soul, fervent with love for his native land. But more other rhymed scriptures that have come down to us from the northern Italian thirteenth century, or anonymous, such as the Proverbia quae dicuntur super natura feminarum and other moral teachings and legends, or with the author’s name, such as the Splanamento de li proverbii di Salomone by Patecchio himself, the Sermon by Pietro da Bescapè, the Book of Uguccione da Lodi, the descriptive poems of Heaven and Hell by Brother Giacomino da Verona, take up themes of universally known legends or the usual precepts of Christian asceticism, nor, as regards form, have anything that does not come from generic naivety or from the customs of the time and of the social class to which the writer belongs.
Epic is the profane narrative poetry that flourished in the Marca di Treviso in the century. XIII and continued very deep into the XIV. A poem about Buovo d’Antona is in Venetian dialect, with only some French coloring. But because the material of the stories came from France, and the language of the land of origin was intimately ingrained with the matter, the Venetian authors themselves mostly studied to use French and wrote a hybrid language, which, according to the their various cultures, ranging from a French full of Italianisms, but grammatically correct enough, to a jargon that is nothing but an unruly French disguise of the Venetian dialect. Of that first type is the linguistic hybridism of the Entrée d ‘ Espagne , of an unknown Paduan, and of the Prise de Pampelune of his continuator Niccolò da Verona, Carolingian poems, whose Italian birth is also attested by the notable part made there to the Lombards and to King Desiderio, a character unknown to the epic of France, and by some organic characters which later became peculiar to the Italian chivalric epic. The other coarser idiomatic form is found in a vast cyclical compilation, in which an anonymous Venetian jester patched up French tales about Buovo d’Antona, Charlemagne’s mother and youth, Uggeri the Danese, and the persecuted wife of Charles. , including the Italian legend of Orlando’s birth in Imola.
These poems are accompanied by others which for the reason of the language are also called Franco-Venetian or Franco-Italian, and which deal, now faithfully repeating French stories and now with more or less profound originality, of characters and facts of the legend Carolingian or those classic legends that the Middle Ages had fashioned by distorting or disguising the stories of ancient writers in its image. An anonymous narrator of the early exploits of Ettore ( Enfances Hector ) and Niccolò da Verona reworked the Farsaglia di Lucano in his Italian-speaking French . With the Atile by Niccolò da Casola, who to exalt his lords, the Estensi, narrated the Attilan legends in a similar hybrid language, goes down beyond the mid-fourteenth century and into the lower Po valley, where the most glorious flowering of the Italian chivalric epic will be .