The title for my first novel is “The Rose of Florence”. It’s set in…you guessed it…Florence, Italy in 1478. This was the time of Lorenzo de’ Medici, or Lorenzo The Magnificent, as he became known.
We follow Gianetta, a servant girl in the home of the Rosini family, where she lives with her friends and colleagues. We meet Eleonora, the accomplished cook, who also knows a thing or two about herbal medicines; Lucia (Eleonora’s apprentice), and Antonio, who has caught Lucia’s eye. Last but not least in the group is Matteo, another of the family’s staff. Gianetta and Matteo are happily in love, but they begin to realise that the politics of Renaissance Florence may disrupt their plans for a long and happy life together.
The Rosini family are wealthy textile merchants and great friends of the Medici family, who are often found dining at Palazzo Rosini. Even Botticelli comes to dinner on occasion. However, all is not well, as we find out when the two Medici brothers narrowly escape with their lives at the Palazzo Rosini. Is someone in the house part of a plot against them? When there is a more determined assassination attempt on their lives, everyone’s world is turned upside down, and we wonder if life will ever be the same again.
While it is a work of fiction, there are some historical events that provided a fascinating backdrop to the story. Florence is a perfect setting for such a novel. Many of the landmarks that are mentioned in the story are still standing to this day. It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to stand in those cobbled streets and believe that you are there at the same time as our characters. There are so many intriguing areas of life in Italy at that time: the ruthless politics; the importance of family; the emergence of great art, and also the everyday things like food and fashion. I thoroughly enjoy exploring all aspects of the life of a Renaissance Italian. Sometimes, I get so absorbed and wander down tangential roads, that I forget what I originally set out to find…and that I’m actually supposed to be writing about it! I include some of these in my blogs, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
I'm delighted to say that The Rose of Florence was published in January 2023 by Romaunce Books https://www.romaunce.com/