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The Botticelli Secret

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  5,346 ratings  ·  509 reviews
In this exhilarating cross between The Da Vinci Code and The Birth of Venus, an irrepressible young woman in 15th-century Italy must flee for her life after stumbling upon a deadly secret when she serves as a model for Botticelli...

When part-time model and full-time prostitute Luciana Vetra is asked by one of her most exalted clients to pose for a painter friend, she
Paperback, 514 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Griffin
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  5,346 ratings  ·  509 reviews

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Kate Quinn
May 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book was pure fun. The plot was improbable and at times inexplicable, but I smiled all the way through. Mainly this was due to the narrator: cheerful Renaissance prostitute Luciana. How refreshing to come across a courtesan who is not ethereal, wounded, or brutalized - Luciana likes men, likes sex, likes her chosen profession, and makes no bones about it. Her golden hair lands her a job modeling for the goddess Flora in a painting of Botticelli's, and Luciana steals a small sketch of the ...more
3.5 stars. This wasnt quite my cup of tea, but still enjoyable. It was like Dan Brown set in the 15th century. The two main characters were a likeable combination and all the historical details of the most important cities of Italy at the time, made me want to go and visit them. Ive always wanted to go to Venice and Florence. Rome is the only place in Italy Ive ever been and its so ensconced in history, I could really visualise the story as it happened in Rome. ...more
This was a bit of a disappointment having really enjoyed The Venetian Contract by the same author. Similar to the Venetian Contract, Botticelli's Secret too is a historical fiction set in the 15th Century Italy (before the unification, of course). The theme chosen by the author was interesting and the story was developed on this theme using codes and puzzles (which reminded me of Dan Brown).

The female and male protagonist are an unusual duo - a monk and a prostitute. This is an interesting
Jan 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Misfit by: Amazon Vine
(3.5 stars) A map of murder.....

Or is it something else altogether? The basis of the novel and the mystery is Boticelli's famous painting Primavera. Asked to sit as "Flora" prostitute Luciana Vetra unknowingly says something that sends the artist into a fit of anger, and sent off without pay she decides to steal a smaller version of the painting (the artist would use this to *map out* his larger painting), but it doesn't take long before people are dropping dead left and right around her.
Frankie Brown
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book and don't care what you think.
Nov 03, 2010 rated it did not like it
Historical fiction should make the reader feel as though they are being offered a privileged view of things as they progressed in history, with the caveat that a certain amount of suspension of disbelief is necessary on the reader's part, but not too much. The privileged view the historical fiction reader enjoys is usually dependent on the understanding that the characters speak in the native language of the novel's setting and we, through some magical historical fiction device, read it in ...more
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just finished the book. I loved, loved, loved how it ended. I'm a sucker for such endings. I must admit, I was not very much impressed with the book at the beginning of it. Some details seemed unnecessary and some ideas were too far-fetched but it was highly entertaining and I adored the two main characters. I don't think I can say that this is my favourite book by Marina Fiorato but I have to give 5 stars to it because I enjoyed it so much. Fiorato is certainly one of my favourite authors, ...more
Jun 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
I'm sorry to say I absolutely hated this book. The first page or two held my attention as it was written in the first person and strongly conveyed that the narrator was intelligent, educated, cultured, and possibly wealthy. This impression came from the flawless English, complex sentences, and lack of slang or dialect. Imagine my surprise when I found out the narrator was the prostitute, supposedly very young, uneducated, and low class. And then came the torrent of vulgarities and constant ...more
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction nerds
This was an extremely awesome book! I'm so happy I picked it up at Half Price Books. As I've said before, my one problem with it is that then author does tend to use language that would come across in English, but not always in the Tuscan or Pisan or other languages in the book. But I suppose it's for those of us who unfortunatly don't speak more than one or two. There's a bit of swearing, too, that doesn't really ring true.
I did love this story, though. And I LOVE that it's based on theories
Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -
Jun 17, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010
In 1482 Florence, Luciana Vetra is a 16 year old orphaned prostitute, when one of her clients asks her to sit for the famous painter, Sandro Botticello. Mad that she isnt paid for her time spent modeling, she steals a small copy of the painting and mayhem ensues. Before she realizes the power of what she has, her roommate is killed as well as a lover/client. She can trust no one, but a monk that she meant the day before.

On they run, through all of Italy, the two are chased while trying to
Lady Vigilante (Feifei)

I'm too lazy to leave a full review (haha). I read this two years ago and I can still remember all the details of this book. History, suspense, political intrigue, and of course, ROMANCE!!! This book has it all! Best of yet, the heroine is an experienced kick-ass prostitute and the hero is a priest-in-training!!!!! <---- my first reaction was O_O then when I finished the book I was on top of the earth, moon, water, land, and every other geographical
The Botticelli Secret is a fully enjoyable read. It has a plot full of twists and turns, with peculiar, funny characters and a rich and beautiful setting.

The novel follows the adventures of Luciana, a prostitute who becomes the target of mysterious assassins after she steals a copy of La Primavera, a painting by Botticelli. Helped by a young monk, Brother Guido, she travels in many italian cities while discovering the truths behind the painting and her own past.

Luciana is not an easy heroine to
Chi-Chi (Luciana)a common harlot is asked to pose for a painting for Alessandro Botticelli. In a fit of pique, after the session, she steals a cartone (smaller copy) of the painting. never dreaming it will propel her into danger and intrigue. Fleeing for her life, she comes across Brother Guido whom she entices to help her. He insists the painting must be the cause of all this and together they try to decipher the meaning hidden in the painting.
Follows a chase through the nine cities of
Another Goodreads First Reads win!!

Here I am immersed in the Dark Ages again having recently read The Lady Queen" by Nancy Goldstone, and despite the brutality I find the period fascinating. Imagine sitting down to a feast of such delicacies as hares testicles, tiny octopus with two tiny front teeth you have to remove before eating, coal black pasta made with the ink from a squid, and immense boars with glassy eyes that stare at youyum!

This story revolves around secrets hidden in the famous
Dec 31, 2010 rated it did not like it
I loved reading this despite the overly crass use of language by the main character, which actually worked only to disjoint the flow of writing. I was immersed from the first page and by the end I was sorry the book was over. What a shame it was when I realised after doing some research that the two main characters never existed in real life. How disappointing!
Even with events being 'sealed' from history, what a shame there is no shred of truth to 'Botticelli's Secret' because of the complete
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
A 15th century conspiracy adventure racing across Italys great Renaissance cities to find hidden clues in Sandro Botticelli's famous Primavera. Pure escapist historical entertainment; the plot hinges on luck and convenience but very fun all the same. ...more
Kristine Arbo
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing! So interesting and full of small, funny comments that makes it even more worth reading.
I really liked this. Its The Da Vinci Code played out in the sumptuous but treacherous 15th century Italian Renaissance.

Luciana is a potty-mouthed teenage prostitute and Brother Guido is trainee monk. Brought together by a stolen draft copy of Botticellis Primavera painting, they must flee Florence before an assassin does to them what hes already done to their friends. Then they must crack the code hidden within the painting to reveal a secret that threatens the world around them.

Its intriguing
Jan 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
It was hard for me to choose between one and two stars for this one, which is too bad, because I so wanted to like it. Unfortunately the book couldn't have been more predictable, most of the characters were entirely one-dimensional, and I found various inconsistencies throughout the book (and I wasn't even looking for them). One of these that bugged me was the fact that a character is killed very early on and while the murder is happening, the murderer is questioning the victim, only for it ...more
May 31, 2010 rated it liked it
I did enjoy the book but there was some things that annoyed me. I thinks the way it was written was too modern. I'm not sure but I doubt people that time said "What the fuck" or "For fuck's sake". And while I don't generally mind swearing, I didn't like how she constantly used the word fuck. And I would have liked some more romance between Guido and Luciana.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a reread. Still one of my favourites - historical fiction that is sheer fun. I don't think anyone can read this book without wanting to know more about Botticelli's painting La Primavera.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I liked the concept of this book, but the execution left much to be desired. The language, first of all, is filthy. Im not turned off by bad language but it is just so over the top. ...more
2.5 to 3 for the first half
a solid 3.5 for the last half

pp 1-150: I seriously considered setting this book aside. Too much action and drama with not enough development of characters or location.

The feisty young whore who is the central character is especially frustrating. It may be that she does think of sex just about all of the time and seems to enjoy (and anticipate) her favorite 'sport,' but up to this point, the picture of that lifestyle seems too rosy, and her youth makes me question the
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Marina Fiorato's internationally loved and bestselling novel The Glassblower of Murano, a story of a woman who changes her life by going back to her roots - roots she hardly knew a thing about, has paved way for her third unforgettable historical love story set in Italy.

To Begin with, The Botticelli Secret follows an unusual pair of friends on a journey to uncover the hidden message behind a famous painting. After stealing La Primavera, Luciana Vetra, a young uneducated prostitute obsessed with
E. Watson
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was was making room for new books on a shelf and came across my copy of The Botticelli Secret. I had to pause and hold it for a minute. I LOVED this book when I read it more than a year ago, perhaps two now. I bought it on a bargain rack at B&N for no other reason than I loved the cover and title. Adventurous, sweeping, detailed, intricate mystery and intense on historical detail, however, the information was woven so skillfully into the story, it wasn't cumbersome. I was rooting for the ...more
I let my faith in Marina Fiorato slip when I first read the back of the book. A common whore, Luciana Vetra is. It did not sound like her usual herione, which is usually noblewoman as such of her books like Daughter of Siena. BUT I was gladly mistaken! I reread the back of the book many times before I actually read it. If it wasn't for the fact that this specific authour wrote the book I surely would have never picked it up!

Luciana Vetra (Chi-Chi to her 'clients') is makes her living by selling
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is over the top. Absolutely and completely over the top. I love historical fiction and I love the Italian Renaissance so of course I went for The Botticelli Secret, thinking I was in for a treat. Everything about this book seemed promising. I liked the idea of a prostitute first person narrator and the plot centring around the secret behind Botticellis Primavera. The book is based on a real conspiracy theory which I thought was a cool idea for a historical novel. So in concept The ...more
I'm not really sure why I waited so long to read this book. Maybe it's because my colleague said she liked it, but that she had a hard time finishing it. Or, maybe it's because the book is rather long and daunting (514 pages). Whatever the case, I was a fool. I loved this book.

It sounds so cliche to say that this book was like the DaVinci Code -- but it was, in the fact that there is a mystery to be solved (on a grand scale) and the characters have to find and solve clues hidden in the famous
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will never again judge a book by its cover! I kept picking this up, reading the blurb on the back which I can now say does not do this book justice and putting the book back on the shelf for maybe another time. What a hidden gem which I could not put down at 3am as I had to just read the next chapter until my eyes could stay open no longer! My eyes hurt, my brain is tired and not once did I work out the full plot!! If you like Dan Brown's books 'The Illuminati' and all of its clues and ...more
Heather L
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
When we first meet Luciana Vetra, she is a 16-yr-old prostitute in 1482 Florence. Turning tricks and modeling since she was twelve, she is offered the chance to sit for Sandro Botticelli's new work, Primaveraan assignment that suddenly finds her fleeing Florence for her life with novice monk, Brother Guido della Torre. As they try to puzzle out the mystery hidden in Botticelli's painting, their journey takes them through Pisa, Naples, Rome, and many other vaunted cities of the Italian ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 15, 2015 09:28AM  

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Marina Fiorato is half-Venetian. She was born in Manchester and raised in the Yorkshire Dales.

She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeares plays as an historical source.

After University she studied art and since worked as an illustrator, actress and film reviewer.

She also designed tour visuals for rock bands

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