The Violinist of Venice

The Violinist of Venice by Alyssa Palombo

Out now!


 A sweeping historical novel of composer and priest Antonio Vivaldi, a secret wealthy mistress, and their passion for music and each other

Like most 18th century Venetians, Adriana d’Amato adores music-except her strict merchant father has forbidden her to cultivate her gift for the violin. But she refuses to let that stop her from living her dreams and begins sneaking out of her family’s palazzo under the cover of night to take violin lessons from virtuoso violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi. However, what begins as secret lessons swiftly evolves into a passionate, consuming love affair.

Adriana’s father is intent on seeing her married to a wealthy, prominent member of Venice’s patrician class-and a handsome, charming suitor, whom she knows she could love, only complicates matters-but Vivaldi is a priest, making their relationship forbidden in the eyes of the Church and of society. They both know their affair will end upon Adriana’s marriage, but she cannot anticipate the events that will force Vivaldi to choose between her and his music. The repercussions of his choice-and of Adriana’s own choices-will haunt both of their lives in ways they never imagined.

Spanning more than 30 years of Adriana’s life, Alyssa Palombo’s The Violinist of Venice is a story of passion, music, ambition, and finding the strength to both fall in love and to carry on when it ends.


Trigger warnings: Domestic abuse


Praise for The Violinist of Venice:

“A lovely book, engrossing and realistic. In simple, spare prose, Palombo gives life to an improbable romance between Vivaldi, the ‘Red Priest’ and Adriana D’Amato, the lovely daughter of a wealthy merchant. Music is Adriana’s downfall – she falls deeply and passionately in love with the composer – and ultimately her salvation. The most compelling aspect of the novel is Adriana’s love of music and the author’s virtuoso descriptions of the Vivaldi’s compositions. The passages are so evocative one can almost hear the ebb and flow of the music. We are in the hands of a not only a master story teller but also a dedicated music lover.” (Roberta Rich, international bestselling author of The Midwife of Venice)

“Utterly captivating! Palombo brings the world of Vivaldi to life in a sweeping tale of love in all its many forms. Beautiful, poignant, and at times heart-wrenching, this should be at the top of everyone’s list to read.” (Jessica Leake, author of Arcana and The Order of the Eternal Sun)

“The Violinist of Venice by Alyssa Palombo is a warm and compelling story of the secret love affair in the life of the famous Baroque composer, Antonio Vivaldi. Vivid and alive and thrumming with the exquisite strains of violin music, the novel explores the impossible choices between love and duty and the demands of art in the decadent world of early 18th century Venice.” (Kate Forsyth, international bestselling author of Bitter Greens)

“A passionate, heartbreaking love story between a brilliant young violinist whose father forbids her to make music and the gentle, gifted composer Vivaldi who restores it to her. I was utterly swept away by their impossible love and the rich worlds which grew from it in this moving novel set among the aristocrats and musicians of 18th century Venice.” (Stephanie Cowell, author of Marrying Mozart and Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet)

“Vivid, emotional, and profoundly satisfying. This marvelous debut is a sumptuous tale of a passionate affair between Vivaldi and a promising student set to a masterful musical score. Palombo has created a fascinating portrait of both the beauty and limitations of life in aristocratic Venice.” (Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar)

“Debut author and musician Palombo creates a lovely fictional account of a great love affair… a nicely crafted first effort that reimagines Vivaldi’s life in a bittersweet narrative.” (Kirkus Reviews)


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Buy The Violinist of Venice:

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14 thoughts on “The Violinist of Venice”

  1. I just finished reading your book and I absolutely fell in love with it! I did not want it to end- I was caught up in the love affair between Vivaldi and Adrianna. I felt like I was there with them in Venice! Well done and thank you for writing such a spectacular book! I will be checking out Vivaldis music too! I am looking forward to your next book! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was totally enchanted with your book. Your ability to develop characters for whom readers like me can develop such emotional ties, is quite astounding. I was so upset that Adriana became pregnant, but how could she not have been during that time? I was so disappointed in Antonio when he left her high and dry, especially after he had pledged such undying love for her. The character who evoked the most emotion from me, however, was Tommaso. He loved Adriana as much as she loved Vivaldi, so unrequited love was a major theme, along with reconciliation and forgiveness. I will miss this book and its characters for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely words! I really appreciate you reaching out, and am so happy that you enjoyed the book and that it resonated so much with you!


  3. Amazing book! I have just finished our Croatian edition of your book and I must say that this is one of the best books I have ever read! The story, description of characters and places… It was magical.
    Greetings from Croatia (which is just across the Adriatic sea 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just finished reading this beautiful story and thank you, thank you, thank you. I was so caught up in the love, passion and intensity of the story I didn’t want it to end. The characters were so true to life and the story so realistic of society in Venice at that time and set so beautifully against the backdrop of Carnevale.. Beauty, love, passion, rebellion, betrayal, heartache and finally happiness… this book has it all. Absolutely loved it!! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just picked your book up at the library as it looked interesting. I have to say I did nothing but read the book for two days. Your book is amazing and I have recommended it to my friends. It is the best book I have read this year. It is an amazing 18th century love story. I think it should be number one on the bestseller list !!!! Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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