Italian literature is remarkable for its sudden flowering in the thirteenth century, without any visible antecedents. Sordello, who is grouped with the Provencals, was an Italian, as were many others who wrote in Old South French. The differences between Provencal and Italian lyrics are as obvious as the likenesses. Francesco Petrarca is, of course, the culminating genius of the Italian lyric tradition of the Middle Ages. The Italians seize upon the rose and other accouterments of Mary, even in the earthy Contrasto of Cielo d’Alcamo, No. 92. Italian lyrics are filled with expressions that might have been drawn from a laud to the Perfect Lady. When literature written in Italian did at last appear, it naturally bore a strong trace of its southern French heritage. The first group of writers in the native tongue was the so-called Sicilian School, which flourished from the time of the coronation of Emperor Frederick II to his demise.