Italian poet, at the forefront of Renaissance humanism. Initially educated at Certaldo and Naples by his father, who wanted him to take up commerce and law and follow his own career in trade, Giovanni Boccaccio set out to study business but soon abandoned it to pursue his literary career. He then became a student of Giovanni da Strada, an esteemed teacher of grammar in Florence. He was introduced to humanism by Petrarch, who stayed at his home in Florence in October 1350. His poetic fire was sparked by Maria d' Aquino, a married daughter of King Robert of Naples, whom he refers to as his "flame" or Fiammetta in several of his works.