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The Botticelli Secret

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,680 Ratings  ·  479 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 doesn
ebook, 544 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2010)
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Kate Quinn
May 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 pa ...more
3.5 stars. This wasn’t 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. I’ve always wanted to go to Venice and Florence. Rome is the only place in Italy I’ve ever been and it’s so ensconced in history, I could really visualise the story as it happened in Rome.
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 choi
Jan 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. Lucian
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 Engli ...more
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, part ...more
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Stvarna ocjena.. 2-2,5
Ne znam kada sam zadnji put knjigu čitala duže od dvadeset dana! :O
Ajme, jedva sam ju prožvakala do kraja. Pažnju mi je držalo možda stotinjak stranica i to pedesetak na početku i pedesetak na kraju.. Ovo ostalo.. Preduga radnja, hladni likovi kao i njihova povezanost.. Nisam od ljubića, a izgleda ni od povijesnih.. Mene stvarno nije dirnula.. osim u živac! :P
Frankie Brown
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book and don't care what you think.
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
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 b
Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -
Jun 17, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 isn’t 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 decip
Medina Jasarevic
Uzbudljivo i napeto. Priča o snu i ujedinjenju Italije u vrijeme Lorenca de Medicija i ostalih renesansnih likova u Italiji.
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 Renaissa
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 hare’s 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 you—yum!

This story revolves around secrets hidden in the famous S
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 lan
Jasna Vegar
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Odlično putovanje kroz Italiju uz ovu knjigu....
Jun 12, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 refer ...more
I really liked this. It’s 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 Botticelli’s Primavera painting, they must flee Florence before an assassin does to them what he’s 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.

It’s intrig
Jan 18, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 late ...more
Debra Cannon
Dec 31, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 fa
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.
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Napeta, zanimljiva i brutalno dobra knjiga!
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.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Като автор,Марина Фиорато е абсолютен шедьовър. Всяка една нейна книга е отлично написана и изпипана до съвършенство. "Тайната на Ботичели" от своя страна е книга с толкова реален исторически сюжет,че за един историк е удоволствие да я прочете. Картините , които описва авторката са докосващи и успяват да те пренесат в средата на действието, без никакви проблеми. Всяка една сюжетна линия успява да те заинтригува и успяваш напълно реално да вникнеш в действието, което не всеки автор успява да напр ...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
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 Botticelli’s “Primavera”. The book is based on a real conspiracy theory which I thought was a cool idea for a historical novel. So in concept “Th ...more
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 pa
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
L'autrice ha descritto le varie città con grande maestria e grande meticolosità, tanto che dopo aver letto la descrizione di una di queste e aver chiuso gli occhi si riesce ad immaginarla perfettamente; sembra proprio di essere lì. Ma Marina Fiorato non è solo bravissima a descrivere gli ambienti, ma anche a descrivere il periodo storico e le persone che hanno vissuto in quegli anni.
Io ho molto apprezzato questo romanzo, forse perchè adoro i dipinti di Botticelli, e il mio preferito è proprio "
Heather L
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, Primavera—an 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 Renaissan ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 15, 2015 09:28AM  
  • The Scarlet Contessa
  • The Borgia Betrayal (The Poisoner Mysteries, #2)
  • Signora Da Vinci
  • The Ruby Ring
  • The Miracles of Prato
  • The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice
  • Tomorrow's Kingdom (The Gypsy King #3)
  • The Second Duchess
  • Leonardo's Swans
  • The Creation of Eve
  • The Venetian Mask
  • Mistress Shakespeare
  • Vivaldi's Virgins
  • Immortal
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
  • The Courtesan's Lover
  • The Sidewalk Artist
  • Madonna of the Seven Hills (Lucrezia Borgia, #1)
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 Shakespeare’s 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 includ
More about Marina Fiorato

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“Love is when you like someone so much you have to call it something else.” 16 likes
“A world of words where the black characters printed on the parchment he held meant more to this monk than the people or places around him.” 10 likes
More quotes…