The Lustful Youth of Rodrigo Borgia

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Rodrigo Borgia is destined to become Pope Alexander VI, one of the most powerful and corrupt men of the 15th century, but what of his youth?

Called to Rome with his brother at seventeen, the hot-blooded Spaniard seeks lessons in love from noblewomen and prostitutes, and wealth and power through collusion with cardinals, prelates, and the Roman nobility. He is driven, self-possessed, and carnal to the extreme.

After a cardinal’s hat and two decades in the Eternal City, he enters an artisan’s workshop and a painter’s model wipes all thoughts from his mind. Soft shoulders, creamy skin… and when her eyes stop on his, he feels his heart quake; her melodious voice and graceful turn of a hand ignite desire. Marriage to another man poses no obstacle to Rodrigo and they become lovers, sharing passion and pleasure to the point of intoxication.

Surrendering to love is not a Borgia trait. Panic-stricken by the intensity of his feelings, Rodrigo flees from Rome and the object of his obsession, only to discover that Vannozza is the love of his life.

Italian authors Elena and Michela Martignoni offer a new perspective on this famous Renaissance lover in their sophisticated, first-person account of the sensual man and the workings of his mind.

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