THE FIRST ACCOUNT OF AN ASCENT
Forced into exile with his family in the Comtat Venaissin, the Florentine poet Pétrarque was the first to describe an ascent and pass judgement on a landscape in a letter that remains famous. In it, he recounts that, in 1336, he set out from Malaucène with his brother and scaled the slopes of this mountain which had fascinated him since his childhood. His intent was to get closer to God by rising above the world of men. Although he acknowledges that this idea was fanciful, he was nevertheless dazzled by the vast landscape he found and more particularly by the beauty of the snow-capped Alps behind which he imagined his native Italy.