The Botticelli Secret


The Botticelli Secret

The Botticelli Secret is an adventure, mystery, thriller and a touch of romance.  Above all though, the thing that was most prevalent to me was the vulgarity.  Let’s take you into the story.


Our main character is named Luciana Vetra.  We are taken to Fifteenth-century, Italy.  Luciana… is a whore.  Perhaps I am just naive to the world.  My history isn’t that great either.  I understand that sex and vulgarity have been around for….ever, but some of the choice words that came out of this girl’s mouth seemed out of place.  I suppose it isn’t a new thing that a young woman would “bleed from her cunt” once a month.  Or some other colorful words for a man’s seed.  This is where my naivety and my lack of education in history start to overtake me.  How this young girl fell into her profession is revealed to us slowly throughout the novel.  By a client’s request, she ends up sitting for a painting by the famous artist, Sandro Botticelli.  Sent away without payment, she is angry.  Although normally not a thief, for there are many horrible things done to a whore caught stealing, she takes a small unfinished version of the painting.  She could not have known the importance of this painting, and the events that were to follow.  She is at the heart of a mystery involving politics, kings, queens, and death.   As people around her start dying, the only place left for her to flee is to a novice monk named Guido Della Torre, who had offered her rescue and shelter from her lifestyle.

The reader is taken on an exciting journey through nine of the great cities of Italy.  At the very root of the journey is this painting.  Soon they realize there are clues hidden within the painting, and they must solve these clues in order to figure out what is going on, and who is after them.  I was very much reminded of the Davinci Code story, I have only seen the film, but enjoyed the adventure and the history behind it.  Although I understand there are many things in this book that are either fiction, or speculation, but these things are what makes the novel so intriguing, and life so exciting.  The idea that this painting that people will commend for its artistic merits, could actually hold secrets that could have, and possibly did, shape the Italy we know today.


Although I was taken aback by some of the vulgarity at first, I was completely intrigued by this novel.  The author wrote The Botticelli Secret, by reading and referencing popular theories behind the painting known as the Allegory of Spring, or the Primavera.  There are so many unique characters in this book, and a part of me hopes that some of them were based very closely off real people.  This would make it more interesting to know such menacing individuals were ruling at this time, that I would not want to cross their path.  A woman known as the Lioness of Venice.  Many have heard of her beauty, but she wears intricate masks with a lioness face.  Although her husband is officially in charge, many know who the real power comes from.


Thinking back and going over the events of this novel make me enjoy it even more.  I would recommend that you read this novel if you are interested in mystery and adventure!  It would be amazing to base a tour off of this book and visit the locations the characters were able to, whether they were real or not.  Many of the locations sound breathtaking, full of history and life. To be able to see the real Primavera and reference the clues within as if you were Luciana and Guido would be an adventure worth taking.


The Allegory of Spring / The Primavera   by  Sandro Botticelli


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