Inspiring Images for The Zorzi Affair

The Zorzi Affair

A broken engagement . . .
Zaneta Lucia Zorzi secretly reads science books while her mother pushes etiquette lessons. But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, an arranged marriage changes everything. 

A hidden identity . . .
Zaneta Lucia abandons her life in Venice and flees to Padua. Disguised as a boy, she longs to enroll at the university. But will her handsome tutor Paolo unmask her?

A girl on the run . . .
Zaneta Lucia’s new life seems perfect—but it can’t last forever. When an instrument maker, an Inquisitor, and a bounty hunter threaten to expose Zaneta Lucia’s secret, can she write her own destiny?

This coming-of-age story, set in seventeenth-century Italy, combines historical fiction with a hint of romance.

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Jacopo de' Barbari's map of Venice, made in 1500. The map is nine feet wide, and so detailed that you can see exactly what each part of the city looked like in the early sixteenth century.

The Palazzo Zorzi Bon, in the Castello neighborhood, was built in the 13th or 14th centuries. I used it as the inspiration for Zaneta Lucia's house.

The majestic Palazzo Barbaro, on the Grand Canal just south of the Accademia Bridge, was the location of Zaneta Lucia's engagement party.

The Piazza delle Erbe, in Padua, is where I imagined Zaneta Lucia listening to Lucrezia Marinella's lecture.

The interior of the Scrovegni Chapel, painted by Giotto in the 14th century, inspired Galileo. Paolo also briefly plots to sneak into the chapel, certain the interior is filled with riches.

Galileo demonstrates his telescope for Venetian patricians. The spyglass was an instant sensation and transformed astronomy.