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The Architectress (L'architettrice) | Italian Book Club of the Dante Alighieri Society of BC



The Architectress (L'architettrice) | Italian Book Club of the Dante Alighieri Society of BC

Presented by the Dante Alighieri Society of BC, with the support of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto.

The next meeting of the Italian Book Club will take place on Tuesday, September 21 at 8:30PM EDT / 5:30PM PDT.

The group will discuss the novel The Architectress (L'architettrice) by Melania G. Mazzucco (Einaudi, 2019). Benedetta Diamanti will coordinate.

Please note that the discussion will be in Italian. An intermediate to advanced level of Italian is recommended.

To register, please email

The Italian Book Club meets ONLINE on ZOOM once a month.

Meet other bibliophiles, share ideas and deepen your understanding of Italian literature, history and culture.

The Italian Book Club is FREE and open to all those in Canada interested in friendly and thought-provoking discussions of Italian books: fiction, non-fiction, classics, prize-winners, etc.

If you are new to the Italian Book Club and wish to join the meetings, please email to register and receive the MEETING LINK.

Schedule and more info:


In May 1624, a man accompanies his daughter to the beach of Santa Severa, where a chimerical creature runs aground. A whale. That which is beyond our horizon also exists, this is what Plautilla's father teaches her. A vision that will help make that little girl an artist, a mysterious painter and architect in the murky splendor of Baroque Rome. Melania Mazzucco draws a large portrait of a woman returning to her usual passions, the world of art and the historical novel.

Giovanni Briccio is a plebeian genius, opposed by writers and ignored by the court: mattress maker, painter of little fame, musician, popular playwright, actor and poet. A bizarre stray dog ​​at a time when it is necessary to have a master, Briccio educates his daughter in painting, and throws her into the world of art as a child prodigy, imposing on her the fate of virginity. Plautilla, however, a woman of humble origins, struggles to emerge in the environment of Roman artists, dominated by Bernini and Pietro da Cortona. The meeting with Elpidio Benedetti, an aspiring writer chosen by Cardinal Barberini as Mazarin's secretary, will eventually change her life. With the complicity of this unusual traveling companion, she will become much more than what her father had dared to imagine.

Melania Mazzucco returns to the historical novel, to the passion for art and its characters. While she tells the glories, intrigues, violence and miseries of the Rome of the popes and the fervor of a bigoted and libertine century, she presents us with the portrait of an extraordinary seventeenth-century woman, Plautilla, the first architect of modern history.


Melania G. Mazzucco was born in Rome in 1966. She earned a degree in Italian literature from the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and a degree in cinema from the Experimental Center for Cinematography. In addition to her four novels, she has written award-winning works for the cinema, theater, and radio. Vita was awarded the 2003 Strega Prize, Italy's leading literary award.


Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Time: At 8:30 pm

Organized by : Dante Alighieri Society of British Columbia

In collaboration with : Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto

Entrance : Free


Online via Zoom