Experience Italy in these Historical Fiction Novels

Juliet : a novel

Anne Fortier.

Romance, Historical Fiction

Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie's twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key-one carried by her mother on the day she herself died-to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.     This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life ...

Sacred hearts

Sarah Dunant.

Romance, Historical Fiction


Steven Saylor.

Action/Adventure, Historical Fiction

The name of the rose

Umberto Eco ; translated from the Italian by William Weaver.

Historical Fiction, Detective, Mystery

In 1327, Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Bakersville arrives to investigate. His delicate mission is overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths that take place in the same number of days, and Brother William must turn detective to sort things out.

The birth of Venus : a novel

Sarah Dunant.

Historical Fiction

Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities.

But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra’s parents arrange her marriage to a we...


Robert Harris.

Historical Fiction

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF "FATHERLAND" AND "POMPEII" COMES THE MOST PROVOCATIVE AND BRILLIANT NOVEL OF ANTIQUITY SINCE "I, CLAUDIUS" -- IMPERIUMA CAUTIONARY TALE OF CICERO, THE GREATEST ORATOR OF ALL TIME, AND HIS EXTRAORDINARY STRUGGLE FOR POWER IN ROME. When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventu...

The daughter of Siena

Marina Fiorato.

Romance, Historical Fiction

Amid the intrigue and danger of 18th-century Italy, a young woman becomes embroiled in romance and treachery with a rider in the Palio, the breathtaking horse race set in Siena....It' s 1729, and the Palio, a white-knuckle horse race, is soon to be held in the heart of the peerless Tuscan city of Siena. But the beauty and pageantry masks the deadly rivalry that exists among the city' s districts. Each ward, represented by an animal symbol, puts f...

The Midwife of Venice.

Roberta Rich

Historical Fiction

A "lavishly detailed" ( Elle Canada ) debut that masterfully captures sixteenth century Venice against a dramatic and poetic tale of suspense. Not since The Red Tent or People of the Book has a novel transported readers so intimately into the complex lives of women centuries ago or so richly into a story of intrigue that transcends the boundaries of history. Hannah Levi is renowned for her gift at coaxing reluctant babies from their mothers using...

The book of madness and cures : a novel

by Regina O'Melveny.

Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Dr. Gabriella Mondini, a strong-willed, young Venetian woman, has followed her father in the path of medicine. She possesses a singleminded passion for the art of physick, even though, in 1590, the male-dominated establishment is reluctant to accept a woman doctor. So when her father disappears on a mysterious journey, Gabriella's own status in the Venetian medical society is threatened. Her father has left clues--beautiful, thoughtful, sometimes...

The enchantress of Florence : a novel

Salman Rushdie.

Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

A tall, yellow-haired, young European traveler calling himself "Mogor dell'Amore," the Mughal of Love, arrives at the court of the Emperor Akbar, lord of the great Mughal empire, with a tale to tell that begins to obsess the imperial capital, a tale about a mysterious woman, a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, and her impossible journey to the far-off city of Florence. The Enchantress of Florence is the story of ...

Sins of the House of Borgia

Sarah Bower.

Romance, Historical Fiction

In 1492, when Ferdinand and Isabella expel the Jews from Spain, six year old Esther Sarfati finds herself travelling to Rome to join her father, a successful banker who has helped his fellow Spaniard, Rodrigo Borgia, finance his bid for the Papacy. Nine years later, as Pope Alexander VI, Rodrigore pays the favour by offering Esther a place in the household of his daughter, Lucrezia. Against her own better judgement, Esther converts to Christianit...

Pope Joan : a novel

Donna Woolfolk Cross.

Historical Fiction

"Engaging . . . Pope Joan has all the elements: love, sex, violence, duplicity, and long-buried secrets." --Los Angeles Times Book Review For a thousand years men have denied her existence--Pope Joan, the woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to rule Christianity for two years. Now this compelling novel animates the legend with a portrait of an unforgettable woman who struggles against  restrictions her soul cannot accept. When her olde...

Leonardo's swans : a novel

Karen Esex.

Historical Fiction, Romance

Isabella d'Este, daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, born into privilege and the political and artistic turbulence of Renaissance Italy, is a stunning black-eyed blonde and a precocious lover and collector of art. Worldly and ambitious, she has never envied her less attractive sister, the spirited but naïve Beatrice, until, by a quirk of fate, Beatrice is betrothed to the future Duke of Milan. Although he is more than twice their age, openly lives ...

A room with a view

by E.M. Forster.

Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

The almond picker

Simonetta Agnello Hornby ; translated from the Italian by Alastair McEwen.

Historical Fiction

The child of poor farmers, La Mennulara became a maid for a well-to-do local family when she was only a girl; by dint of hard work and intelligence, she became the indispensable administrator of the family's affairs. Still, she was a mere servant, and now (as this story begins) she is dead. As the details unfold about this mysterious woman, The Almond Picker assumes the witty suspense of a thriller, the emotional power of a love story, and the ev...