The Most Beautiful Woman In Florence: A Story Of Botticelli by Alyssa PalomboThe Most Beautiful Woman In Florence: A Story Of Botticelli by Alyssa Palombo

The Most Beautiful Woman In Florence: A Story Of Botticelli

byAlyssa Palombo

Paperback | April 25, 2017

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"In the tradition of Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring, Palombo has married fine art with romantic historical fiction in this lush and sensual interpretation of Medici Florence, artist Sandro Botticelli, and the muse that inspired them all." - Booklist

A girl as beautiful as Simonetta Cattaneo never wants for marriage proposals in 15th Century Italy, but she jumps at the chance to marry Marco Vespucci. Marco is young, handsome and well-educated. Not to mention he is one of the powerful Medici family's favored circle.

Even before her marriage with Marco is set, Simonetta is swept up into Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici's glittering circle of politicians, poets, artists, and philosophers. The men of Florence-most notably the rakish Giuliano de' Medici-become enthralled with her beauty. That she is educated and an ardent reader of poetry makes her more desirable and fashionable still. But it is her acquaintance with a young painter, Sandro Botticelli, which strikes her heart most. Botticelli immediately invites Simonetta, newly proclaimed the most beautiful woman in Florence, to pose for him. As Simonetta learns to navigate her marriage, her place in Florentine society, and the politics of beauty and desire, she and Botticelli develop a passionate intimacy, one that leads to her immortalization in his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.

Alyssa Palombo's The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence vividly captures the dangerous allure of the artist and muse bond with candor and unforgettable passion.

ALYSSA PALOMBO is the authorof The Violinist of Venice and The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence.She has published short fiction pieces in BlackLantern Magazine and The Great LakesReview. She is a recent graduate ofCanisius College with degrees in English and creative writing,respectively. A passionate music lover,she is a classically...
Title:The Most Beautiful Woman In Florence: A Story Of BotticelliFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.29 × 5.6 × 0.86 inPublished:April 25, 2017Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:125007150X

ISBN - 13:9781250071507


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great I enjoyed reading this book. I loved the different characters. Great love story.
Date published: 2018-05-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engaging, Gripping, and Emotional Not only do I love Florence, and am a historical fiction fan, but I also have a great appreciation for the Renaissance period (art, structures/buildings, clothing, etc.). The author, Alyssa Palombo, does a good job in establishing the historical and physical setting. Florence felt real and alive, as if I were there walking the streets alongside Simonetta. Palombo found a way to breath life into Renaissance Florence in this book and make it feel alive with the art, politics, religion, marriage, structures, themes, and more. The exploration of the Renaissance time period was done in such an entertaining way that I couldn't help but find myself captivated by the characters and the time period. I also really liked the way the author took real characters and expanded their stories in this book. Even though I knew a majority of these characters (from History courses), I still felt like I learned much more about them in this book. And even though I have never heard of Simonetta Vespucci before reading this book, I can definitely say that I am fascinated by her and want to know more about her. Though the story is character-driven, it deals with much more deeper themes of that time - the exploration of what it means to be a wife and the most beautiful in Renaissance Florence. Even though we don't know if Simonetta was the inspiration behind the Birth of Venus or if Botticelli did really use her as a model for his other portraits, this novel was still beautifully breathtaking and made me fall for Renaissance Florence and feel for the characters in it. I can not state whether or not she was the inspiration, but I can say that I found Alyssa Palombo's depiction of the relationship between both artist and muse to be highly plausible, especially after reading the author's note. Overall, this was a great book to read. It was such a gripping, engaging, and emotional story. If you are a fan of historical fiction, have a love for art history, are interested in the Renaissance period, or just looking for a quick and engaging book to read, then I recommend you check this book out.
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As Rich and Lush as Florence itself! Was there really a love between Simonetta and Sandro Botticelli? No one will ever know for certain. Although this is only deemed a rumor, author Alyssa Palombo explores this possibility. The prose is lovely, filled with wonderful descriptions of Florence with its location, fashions, and famous personages. The author truly did a fabulous job of weaving a fascinating tale, especially once the conflict kicked into high gear. Simonetta is truly a likable character, aware of her great beauty, but never vain, never one to flaunt it or use it to her advantage. Sandro Botticelli was portrayed as simply enchanting, honorable, respectful. But my highest praise is for the author who chose a lesser known woman in history and recreated her vibrant life. It was a real pleasure to read about someone other than the same over-used female figures such as the Tudor wives. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2017-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Imagery & Intriguing Storyline! This is an intriguing interpretation about the life of Simonetta Cattaneo, a young, intelligent girl who became known as the “Most Beautiful Woman of Florence” and who developed a close, intimate relationship with the famous Renaissance painter, Sandro Botticelli. It is a story about familial responsibilities, duty, strength, coming-of-age, friendship, art, passion, desire, loss and love. Simonetta was a feminist ahead of her time who understood quickly that her beauty was both a gift and a curse, and who ultimately longed and strived in her regrettably short life to be known and loved for her knowledge and mind instead. The prose is smooth and fluid, and the storyline takes us back to the mid-to-late 1400s to the city of Florence when politics, learning and the liberal arts were revered and who you knew was certainly more important than what you knew. This certainly is a well written, vivid, rich story, and even though there is not much known about Simonetta’s life and the events that led up to Botticelli’s immortalization of her in his famous painting, Palombo has done a remarkable job of taking those historical facts and surrounding them with fiction that is passionate, alluring and incredibly captivating.
Date published: 2017-04-27

Editorial Reviews

"Palombo gives life to the woman immortalized in Botticelli's The Birth of Venus in a novel that perfectly merges art, history and romance. The Florence of the de Medicis, filled with the glorious colors of the Renaissance, shimmers as the backdrop of this fascinating glimpse into the creation of a masterpiece. This captivating, beautifully written novel may be more fiction than fact, but readers will be entranced and will feel they are an integral part of the unfolding story. Palombo joins the ranks of Tracey Chevalier, Rosalind Laker and those who perfectly merge history and reality." - Romantic Times"Alyssa Palombo follows up her outstanding debut, The Violinist of Venice, with this stunning novel... a reflection on beauty and how it can be a curse." - Historical Novel Society, Editor's Choice pick"In the tradition of Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring, Palombo has married fine art with romantic historical fiction in this lush and sensual interpretation of Medici Florence, artist Sandro Botticelli, and the muse that inspired them all." - Booklist"Strikingly feminist.a compelling narrative that is difficult to putdown." - Publishers Weekly"Inspired by Botticelli's iconic painting, The Birth of Venus, Palombo's tale will sweep you away to the sights, sounds and romance of the Medici's in Florence." - BookTrib"Beautifully written and poetically told, The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence will leave you in tears and rushing to get your hands on anything else written by Alyssa Palombo." - Feathered Quill