Susanna Kearsley

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Canada  ·  Writer of modern gothic novels that mix contemporary suspense and romance with historical adventure.
Susanna Kearsley
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Heading into the gardens at Il Vittoriale (my Il Piacere)

Heading into the gardens at Il Vittoriale (my Il Piacere)

At Il Vittoriale, which became my Il Piacere.

At Il Vittoriale, which became my Il Piacere.

Sirmione, on the south shore of Lake Garda.

Lake Garda - We had lunch lakeside at an outdoor café.but who knew. The lake was blanketed in fog. Couldn't see a thing. This is what it should have looked like.

View from the bench where Alex and Celia sit and talk, above the beach at Sirmione.

View from the bench where Alex and Celia sit and talk, above the beach at Sirmione.

The pier at the beach at Sirmione, where Alex and Celia walk.

The pier at the beach at Sirmione, where Alex and Celia walk.

Sirmione, where Alex and Celia spend a day out.

Sirmione, where Alex and Celia spend a day out.

Dogs on the rooftop of D'Annunzio's mausoleum at Il Vittoriale! I hadn't seen these before. They weren't here when I visited in 1998 -- they were made by sculptor Velasco Vitali and installed in 2013 for the 150th anniversary of D'Annunzio's birth. Max and Nero's ancestors, perhaps?

"Memento audere semper " wrote Gabriele D'Annunzio on the facade of the Vittoriale in Gardone. Try to enter his home to go back in time and experience unique emotions.

Another view of Il Vittoriale, showing what became "my" Villa della Tempeste..

Another view of Il Vittoriale, showing what became "my" Villa della Tempeste.

Outside view of the veranda I gave to Alex for his study, at Il Vittoriale (my "Il Piacere")

Season of Storms Photos

"My" outdoor theatre at Il Piacere was inspired by this: the Forum, an open-air theatre-in-the-round at Ontario Place, on Toronto's waterfront. Under the canopy roof there were actual seats, but nearly everyone else is sitting on the hillside, on the lawn. In the winter of 1994/5 it was demolished to make way for the Molson Amphitheatre. I have wonderful memories of concerts I saw at the Forum. I'm sad that it's gone. That's most likely why I gave it a measure of immortality in this book.

"My" outdoor theatre at Il Piacere was inspired by this: the Forum, an open-air theatre-in-the-round at Ontario Place, on Toronto's waterfront. Under the canopy roof there were actual seats, but nearly everyone else is sitting on the hillside, on the lawn. In the winter of 1994/5 it was demolished to make way for the Molson Amphitheatre. I have wonderful memories of concerts I saw at the Forum. I'm sad that it's gone. That's most likely why I gave it a measure of immortality in this book.

There actually is an outdoor theatre at Il Vittoriale, but it's not the one that inspired my theatre at Il Piacere...

There actually is an outdoor theatre at Il Vittoriale, but it's not the one that inspired my theatre at Il Piacere.

The actual veranda at Il Vittoriale, named for Apollo (my fictional one was named for the goddess Diana). This would have been too cluttered a workspace for poor Alex, so I "redecorated" it a little in my novel..

The actual veranda at Il Vittoriale, named for Apollo (my fictional one was named for the goddess Diana). This would have been too cluttered a workspace for poor Alex, so I "redecorated" it a little in my novel.