Author Andrea di Robilant took a trip back to his ancestral home in Italy awhile ago to do research for a biography of his great-great-great grandmother, Lucia Mocenigo. A caretaker showed him to an old, overgrown park on the estate. There, di Robilant encountered a number of rose shrubs with silvery pink blooms about three inches wide. "The scent was very strong and reminded me of peaches and raspberries. Although I did not know much about roses, everything about this one -- the delicate color, the sweet fragrance, the way it carried itself -- suggested this was an old rose of some importance ..."
And so began his quest to find out about the origins of this rose, which he brilliantly and charmingly describes in his latest book, Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the Venetian Countryside (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014).
Along the way, you'll learn about old roses and China roses, hear about Lucia's friendship with the Empress Josephine, a preeminent amateur rose collector, and visit the gardens of some of today's most important charming Italian rosarians.
Anyone who likes European history, botanical history, Italy, France, or roses would absolutely love this book. And it's worth buying for the beautiful illustrations alone.
If you can read Italian, I'm sure it would be fascinating.