Boccaccio spent his early years in Florence and Naples, where he studied literature and wrote some of his first works. He returned to Florence in 1340 and subsequently witnessed the Black Death of 1348. He met Petrarch in 1350 and developed a long-lasting friendship. He published a Life of Dante, various poetry and some prose work, but his main literary contribution is the Decameron (1348-1353) consisting of one hundred tales. The Decameron greatly influenced later writers such as Chaucer and Shakespeare.
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