As readers of this blog already know, the novel I'm currently writing is about yet another cook, Bartolomeo Scappi, who was a Renaissance chef to several cardinals...
This week marked the launch of Stephanie Storey's delightful new novel Raphael, Painter of Rome.
I had the extreme pleasure of reading and blurbing this novel, and here is what I said: “A sumptuous, dazzling dive into the world of Italian Renaissance art through the eyes of one of its most celebrated artists. Raphael, Painter in Rome unfolds in unforgettable detail, with all the color and richness of the era: popes and princes, courtesans and cardinals, mystery and murder, ardor and art. The world of Raphael is one I wanted to linger in forever.”
And it's SO true. It's told from the point of view of Raphael and I love how Stephanie gives this Renaissance figure such vibrancy and life. I keep thinking about this book, about the characters that Stephanie brought to life.
Stephanie has a new video series she's starting up, in which she's interviewing a variety of authors. I was delighted to be one of her first! In this video we talk about watching Italy's struggle with coronavirus, about the splendor of Rome in the Renaissance, about food, about art, and about the the land that we love, il bel paese. I seriously could have kept talking with her for hours!
One of the topics we cover is the Villa Farnesina, which is a palazzo in the Trastevere in Rome. Both of our novels have scenes that take place in the villa. In my opinion, it's one of the most overlooked gems in all of Rome. It has breathtaking frescoes, a charming garden and you can see it in about an hour.
We also talk about a monochromed head that is attributed to Michelangelo that is on one of the walls of the villa.
If you have a chance when you are in Rome next, make the short (and scenic!) trek across the river to the Trastevere and poke your head into this magnificent palazzo. I promise you, you won't be sorry!