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Moderata Fonte: Women and Life in Sixteenth-Century …

Moderata Fonte: Women and Life in Sixteenth-Century Venice

Many of you have heard about my research project about a Venetian writer of the Renaissance and life in Venice at that time. Many of you very kindly wanted to know about its outcome. Well, the project turned slowly into a manuscript and the manuscript into a book!

The book was just published by Farleigh Dickinson University Press and I am very happy with the result. The title is Moderata Fonte: Women and Life in Sixteenth-century Venice. The following is an excerpt from the book jacket which carries a reproduction of a detail of the 1496 painting by Gentile Bellini, depicting a Procession in St. Mark’s square.

Moderata Fonte

"What did it mean to be a woman in sixteenth-century Venice? How did women impact the everyday life of this brilliant, festive, but essentially patriarchal city? How did an educated, sensitive and intelligent woman writer of the Venetian citizen class treat the question of gender relationships and of women’s place in society? These questions are at the center of this volume, which explores the role of Venetian women in sixteenth-century culture as well as the contribution of the writer Moderata Fonte to the centuries-old war of the sexes. The overview of the political, economic, cultural, and spiritual components of life in Venice during this time focuses on the impact that women had on their society’s activities."

My book will appeal, I think, to students or admirers of the Italian and Venetian Renaissance as well as anybody interested in gender relationships and the role of women in one of the most brilliant European societies of the sixteenth century.

If you or your library would like to own a copy of this book, ordering information is here .

And if you’re personally, interested in this topic, I’d love to hear from you or discuss it with you on our next tour together.

Paola Malpezzi Price

For more information on our tours in Italy, click on the links below:


  • Bicycling Italy


  • Walking Italy