Ariana will be awarding an original handmade Venetian mask from Venice to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning. Comment on the post to enter Susana’s November Giveaway (see right).
Venetian Beauty Secrets
Thank you so much for hosting me and giving me the chance to tell you about my book and the magical beauty of Venice.
Today I would like to tell you something about how Venetian women took care of their beauty.
Like all women, even the Venetians cared for their beauty. Venetian courtesans were among the most beautiful and educated women in the Western world. But also women honestly took care of their beauty.
Venice is a maze of streets that can be so narrow that a lady wearing a large gown could hardly pass. Therefore, people living in such streets hardly saw the sun during the day. Today like in past times.
How could women enjoy the warm rays of the sun without being exposed to the prying eyes of strangers? They sat in their houses’ altane. The altana is a wooden platform built on a roof. Up there, away from prying eyes and gossipmongers, women sat in the sun, wrapped in long loose coats to preserve their fair complexion. They also wore a weird crownless hat, called solana.
What was the solana for? After wearing it on, the lady spread lemon juice on her hair and exposed it to bleaching rays of the sun.
The bleaching effect of the sun on their hair, which was often dark, produced a bright red color. Titian, the famous painter, often portrayed women with red hair. This is why this original shade of red became world famous as “Titian red”.
When walking through the streets of Venice, you can look up and easily find the altane standing out from the roofs. I myself took a couple of photos. You can see them on my Facebook author page. Waiting for you!
About UnMask My Heart
When Rome’s loveliest rose and Venice’s fiercest lion team up to win back the love of their respective spouses-to-be, the Serene Republic may expect a hilarious romp – and perhaps the most torrid love story to have ever bedazzled its gilded canals…
Isabella discovers her fiancé is a cheat, her bride dream a lie. Her future husband, the man she loves with all her heart is flirting in… Brando’s fiancée’s arms!
Shock. Disappointment. Anguish. Fear for her future. The rascal deserves a lesson he will not forget, because a princess of Rome doesn’t bow out so easily. Brando Loredan will not be that hard to convince for he is jealous, angry and vindictive enough to get some brilliant idea. So she joins forces with him to get back her fiancé and put together the little dream back on track. But while trying and insisting on regaining the dream, she discovers a new path of light and love. It is not a lie, like the first dream, but it may be even harder to win.
Unmask My Heart is a story of love and sweet revenge set in sparkling, sumptuous Casanova’s Venice where everything is possible and sins are concealed behind a mask.
Everything happened at once. Giulia lost her balance, arched backward, and fell into the canal.
The gondola capsized and Isabella fell in as well. She gasped trying to keep afloat but her heavy dress dragged her down. She floundered about in order to reach the surface. There was no way to get out of her dress and her lungs burned from a lack of air. She looked up at the surface where indefinite, dark shapes moved against the light. She could no longer hold her breath. This was it. She closed her eyes and gave up her will to fight death.
Isabella felt herself being grabbed by the waist and hauled to the surface. A violent coughing fit shook her and her lungs burned with the sudden influx of air.
Hands. On her arms, chest, neck, face. Isabella opened her eyes and met Brando’s anxious gaze. His drenched locks dripped water onto her breast. He smiled at her. She was safe and sound.
“You scared me, lady. Are you alright?” Brando caressed her face and wiped away wet tendrils from her cheeks.
Brando helped her to sit. It was in that moment that she saw her husband-to-be sitting on the dock on the opposite side of the canal. He was next to Giulia. Both were wet. Leonardo had rushed to the alley cat’s side and left Isabella to die.
Isabella suddenly felt old and tired. She took Brando’s hand in hers. “Thank you…Lion.”
He kissed her hand and hugged her. “No need to thank me.”
“I’m really sorry you had to witness such a scene,” Isabella said in a whisper.
Brando looked at her open-mouthed. “I am the one who hoped to spare you this humiliation.”
About the Author
Arianna Giorgi is a historical romance author and a journalist, a college graduate and an avid reader. She makes her home halfway between the Vatican City and the picturesque old quarter of Trastevere at the heart of the city of Rome in Italy, where Julius Caesar kept an apartment as a young man about town and from where a long list of artists gave the world some of its greatest masterpieces.
She has an intrinsic appreciation of beauty and everything eccentrically romantic, including a strong affiliation to the city of Venice which she visits at least twice a year.
Independent and curious, Arianna has travelled extensively around the globe, from America to Africa and back to Europe. Frankly, she never misses a chance to pack her bags and jump on a plane. Driven by a passion for European history and art, she wanders and investigates every hidden corner of the Old Continent, armed with a camera and a notebook, and looking for intriguing stories and settings for her books.
She loves history, astrology, gourmet cooking, and cats. She lives with her husband, her beautiful daughters and her red cat, surrounded by her own cultivated flowers and the magical grandeur of the Eternal City.