Last night, we were treated to an Italian evening at Mostly Books in Abingdon to celebrate the publication of Marina Fiorato’s second novel which I blogged about here, her first novel having been a hit with us. We had antipasti, biscotti, amaretti, and plenty of Amaretto to wash it all down. I’ve only had Amaretto in puddings before – drinking it on its own was delicious, (I think it’ll be lovely with ice too!).
The Madonna of the Almonds was inspired by the story of the liqueur’s invention, and Marina produced an original 1970s Amaretto box which has the legend on the back. It was drinking the contents and reading the box that got her started. Due to the success of her first novel, she could afford a research trip to Italy and visited Saronno, Pavia from Milan. The frescoes painted by her hero Bernardino Luini in Saronno and Milan were all of the same lady with a beautiful luminous face.
She went on to tell us about her next novel The Botticelli secret due out next March, which features a Florentine whore and a monk who decipher the symbolism in Botticelli’s masterpiece ‘Primavera‘ – a giant canvas which now hangs in the Uffizi in Florence. I can’t wait.