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Tuesday, May 06, 2008





Claudio Angelini will be on hand to discuss his novel Il mistero di Simonetta (Newton & Compton Editori, 1998) recently issued in English  (The Mystery of Simonetta, Guernica Editions).

The many masterpieces in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery include two of the most famous paintings in the entire world: Botticelli’s Allegory of Spring and Birth of Venus. The woman chosen to represent Spring and the goddess of Love in these works has become something of a muse who has inspired painters, poets, and philosophers through the ages. Angelini’s book brings us the story of Simonetta Vespucci, fifteenth-century Florentine lady at the court of Lorenzo il Magnifico immortalized by Botticelli in these famous paintings as the very embodiment of the Renaissance ideal. But while her image has survived the ages, her premature death at the tender age of twenty-two in obscure circumstances remains something of a mystery. Angelini’s biographical novel brings Renaissance Florence back to life. Equal parts historical fiction and psychological thriller, Il mistero di Simonetta paints a new, meticulously researched portrait of this fascinating woman considered an angel by some, by others a worldly courtesan.

Writer, poet, and journalist Claudio Angelini has held a variety of positions in television journalism and cultural affairs: Director of the Giornale Radio RAI, co-director of TG1, chief RAI correspondent for the Italian president and from the US, director of cultural programming for RAI, and director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York. He is currently president of the Società Dante Alighieri in New York.

Angelini was discovered as poet and narrator by none other than Noble prize-winning poet Salvatore Quasimodo, who dedicated an enthusiastic preface to Angelini’s first collection of verse (Prima della fine). Angelini has published both fiction and non-fiction with Bompiani.

Tuesday, May 6

6 pm

Italian Cultural Institute

500 N. Michigan Ave.

Suite 1450

Chicago, IL 60611

312 - 822-9545



Date: Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hours: 6 PM

Site: Italian Cultural Institute, Chicago

Organized by: Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Chicago

In collaboration with:


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