Barbara Bellomo

Barbara Bellomo has a Ph.D. in Ancient History and currently teaches in a high school. She is the author of several publications on Roman history. For Salani, she has written the Isabella De Clio trilogy, featuring the Sicilian female archeologist of La ladra di ricordi [The Memory Thief], Il terzo relitto [The Third Wreckage], Il peso dell’oro [The Weight of Gold]. And an historical thriller Il libro dei sette sigilli [The Book of the Seven Seals].

La casa del carrubo

(The Carob Tree House)

Adriano Salani Editore, June 2022

Set in a Sicily devastated by war, this is a polyphonic novel that slowly unfolds and reveals the love, intrigues, courage and hope of a family from whom history has snatched everything.

English sample available

Catania, 1943. When war comes knocking at your door, it never seems as bad as you expected. At least that’s what Vittorio Floridia thinks the day after a bombing destroys his house and any hope of returning to normality. In an attempt to save his family from the grip of fear and hunger, he agrees to move in with the pharmacist Luigi Villalba, his late best friend’s brother. And so in this large country house, standing in the shade of a large carob tree, we get to know the members of a family like so many others, and yet different from all of them. Luca, with black curls and an impudent manner, is getting ready to fight a war his father has long stopped approving of. Elena, sweet and compliant, already feels like a woman at sixteen, but is still a child in everyone else’s eyes. Little Michele, slight and silent, risks losing his life after being wounded in the bombing. Then there’s Agata, now Vittorio’s wife, but for ever the love of Luigi’s life and his great regret.

Il libro dei sette sigilli

(The Book of the Seven Seals)

Adriano Salani Editore, June 2020

A prophetic book.  A brave writer determined to track it down.

An adventure suspended between reality and legend.

English sample available

Jerusalem. In the Year of Our Lord, the prophetess Anna gives the world a book destined to change its destiny. Many centuries later, the story of this book is stumbled upon by Margherita Mori, a successful writer suffering from hypermnesia, a memory condition that makes her remember every single detail of her life, even the most painful ones. Margherita has recently written an adventure novel in which she tells the story of an apocalyptic book protected by seven iron seals and which, if found, could alter the destiny of the world. From the outset, Margherita’s book draws a bizarre kind of attention, including from Father Costarelli, a Jesuit who issues an urgent invitation to the seminary where he lives. Two days later, the man dies in suspicious circumstances, making Margherita wonder if the documents she had consulted in order to write her novel may not be so far-fetched after all.

 

Andrà tutto bene

(All shall be well)

Garzanti, April 2020

From their homes, twenty-six of the most prominent writers in the Italian landscape have given a meaning to these days by choosing to tackle this emergency also with the weapons of literature.

R. Armeni, S. Auci, A. Basso, B. Bellomo, G. Biondillo, C. Bonvicini, F. Bosco, M. Buticchi, C. Caboni, D. Carrisi, A. Dalton, G. Festa, A. Frontani, E. Galiano, A. Gazzola, E. Gnone, M. Gramellini, J. Lahiri, F. Noiville, C. Sánchez, G. Sundas, S. Truzzi, I. Tuti, H. Tuzzi, M. Vichi, A. Vitali.

Nowadays, fear has a new name: Covid-19. The only way to defeat it is to stay at home.  Within the four walls that have always shielded us but which have now become impassable boundaries.

They have become almost an enemy.

And yet, day after day, those who always work with words have discovered that rooms, windows, and even the remotest corners of their homes are wings to carry them out into the world. Every one of them has therefore chosen a way to give life to this magic.

From their homes, twenty-six of the most prominent writers in the Italian landscape have given a meaning to these days by choosing to tackle this emergency also with the weapons of literature.

So as to take their daily lives to the readers who love them.

And they decided to do this together with the publishing house Garzanti by donating all the proceeds to the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo.

Some decided to write about their days, their established routines, about novelties that make you smile. About the tears they cannot stop but also about the force of nature that dissolves the lump in your throat. About forced cohabitation, as well the distancing from people who are dear to you, that feels unbearable. Others write about neighbours who were once strangers but are no longer so, and work that has changed its tools but not its substance. Some admit their error in thinking that it could not all be true or else lend a voice to animals who, on the contrary, are glad this is all true. Others entrust their thoughts about these strange days to beloved characters they have created. Everyone is certain that we will emerge from this more aware of what is truly important, and we will meet, hug, and soon take walks all together. They are certain that solidarity will be the currency we will carry with us and no longer be able to do without.

They are all convinced that words, books and stories bring us together. They create invisible links that break all barriers. When we read we are never alone. And we are strong. And everything appears as it will be. Because all shall be well.

Rights Sold

World Arabic: Alfarasha Publishing

Il peso dell'oro

(The Weight of Gold)

Adriano Salani Editore, September 2018

Work is the only thing that distracts Isabella from it is a recent, oppressive feeling of loneliness. Fortunately, there is a new mystery about to take her mind off her love life. The recent discovery of papyri attributed to Archimedes prompts her to consult the important Medieval codex rescriptus, long considered to be no more than a prayer book, but which actually conceals many surprises. Isabella will therefore find herself untangling a web which, on one hand, involves the famous Ancient Syracuse scientist and, on the other hand, an inestimable treasure, as well as mysterious deaths and schemes that are way beyond her. It is thanks to this risky investigation, however, that Isabella will discover that she is not as alone as she thinks…

Il terzo relitto

(The Third Relic)

TEA - Tascabili degli Editori Associati, June 2017

While doing some research, Isabella unearths a manuscript dating back to the 1st century BC. It gives a new version of the battle of Lipari, during which three ships sank in the Tyrrhenian Sea while trying to defend a precious cargo. Isabella is curious and discovers that two Roman relics have in fact been found and that during the recovery operations, Carla Sollini, an expert diver, died in mysterious circumstances. As for the phantom cargo, there is no trace of it: could it be that the unpublished manuscript is unreliable? Or that the sea has since destroyed everything?

La ladra di ricordi

(Stealing Lies)

TEA - Tascabili degli Editori Associati, April 2016

An original and young archaeologist specialising in ancient art is the principal character in a series of fresh, lively novels that take place in radiant Sicily and flow seamlessly between past and present, mystery and ancient history.

Isabella De Clio is earnest, meticulous, honest, very knowledgeable, beautiful and strong-willed. She has however one defect: Isabella is a kleptomaniac who constantly feels the urge to steel objects that represent memories for her.
An authority on cameos, she ends up working with a charming police inspector on an investigation into the murder of an elderly lady with an apparent connection to a precious gem of the Augustan Age. It turns out to have been a wedding present to the Emperor Octavian from his child bride, which ended up in the hands of the murdered woman in order to keep her from revealing an uncomfortable truth.

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