Arianna Maddalena Rossi
Formal Title
Duchessa Arianna Rossi of Bellezza
Arianna Gasparini[1]
Figlia dell'Isola[2]
Duchessa of Bellezza
Year of Birth
about 1562[4]
Place of Birth

Current Residence
1577, Bellezza
Rodolfo Rossi, father
Silvia Bellini, mother
Paola & Gentile Bellini, grandparents
Valeria and Gianfranco Gasparini, foster parents, aunt and uncle
Tommaso and Angelo Gasparini, foster brothers, cousins
Egidio and Fiorentino Rossi, uncles
Luciano Crinamorte, Husband

Arianna Maddalena Rossi[6], previously Arianna Gasparini, is the Duchessa of Bellezza. She is the daughter of Rodolfo Rossi, a Stravaganti, and Silvia Bellini, the former Duchessa of Bellezza.


Arianna was raised on the lagoon islands of Bellezza and lived on Torrone with her family as the daughter of Gianfranco Gasparini, a museum curator, and his wife, Valeria, and has two older brothers, Angelo and Tommaso, who are both fisherman on the island of Merlino. Because she is the first child born on Torrone for many years, she is known as the Figlia del'Isola ("daughter of the island") and had very few friends her age. Out of a restless desire for adventure, Arianna seeks to become a mandolier in Bellezza, though the law only allows young men under twenty-five who must also be born in the city of Bellezza.

Arianna soon befriends Lucien Mulholland, a new Stravaganti who arrives in Bellezza from London. While Arianna finds some excitement from her adventures, she winds up facing the consequences of being in Bellezza on the Giornata Vietata, the forbidden day after the Marriage with the Sea. Though she is arrested for treason, she is acquited of all charges when the true circumstances of her birth are revealed.[5]

After the apparent death of the Duchessa, Arianna wins the election become the new Duchessa of Bellezza against Francesca di Chimici, whom she later befriends. As the new Duchessa, she becomes close to her lady-in-waiting and personal maid, Barbara, who occasionally serves as Arianna's double. Arianna eventually becomes engaged to Luciano Crinamorte.


Arianna was raised on the island of Torrone by a museum curator Gianfranco Gasparini and his wife, Valeria. Her two older brothers, Angelo and Tommaso, are considerably older that she is and work as fisherman. Her maternal grandparents are Paola, regarded as the finest lace-maker in Bellezza, and Gentile, a cake-maker whose pastries are served in Fiorentino Rossi's restaurant.

As Arianna later discovers, she is actually the daughter of Silvia Bellini, the Duchessa of Bellezza, and Rodolfo Rossi. To protect her daughter from being used as leverage against her, Silvia concealed her daughter's existence from everyone except her older sister, Valeria Gasparini, and Gianfranco. Arianna was given to Valeria to raise as her own daughter, though Silvia made sure to learn everything she could of her daughter as she grew up, learning everything except what Arianna looked like.

After Rodolfo learns that he is Arianna's father, they develop a genuine and affectionate relationship as a father and daughter, though he is also a stern teacher as he guides as her regent when she becomes the Duchessa of Bellezza. As the Duchessa and Regent, Gaetano di Chimici immediately discerns that they are a dangerous pair and will not be so easily swayed into what Duke Niccolo wants. Though Arianna regards him affectionately, Rodolfo feels somewhat regretful that he did not have any opportunity to be an important male figure in her life, since they had only become aware of their familial relationship when Arianna was sixteen[6]. However, even when Rodolfo suggests leaving his regency before she marries, Arianna expresses that she will always need him[7].

In spite of learning of her true heritage, Arianna still refers to Valeria her mother, recognizing her as the woman who raised her, and visits Valeria on Torrone when she feels homesick or needs time away from the political pressures as the Duchessa. Though she recognizes that Silvia is her mother by birth, Arianna prefers to address her as Silvia. Arianna's cousins, Angelo and Tommaso, still regard her as their younger sister even after their true relationship is revealed[8]; likewise, she still considers them her brothers[9]. Arianna's paternal uncles, Fiorentino and Egidio, take her to quickly and take pride in her natural sculling skills as a mandolier.


Arianna is often described as having chestnut brown hair and most distinctly, violet eyes, a feature she shares with Silvia. She is also known to be very stubborn and headstrong[5], but also vivacious and friendly.

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. When she thinks she is her aunt and uncle's child
  2. By the people of Torrone, who thought she was the only child born on Torrone in years, except, unknown to them, she wasn't born on Torrone
  3. Beginning in City of Secrets, the alias she uses while impersonating a boy; "Adamo Cesarini" in Secrets and "Adamo da Bellezza" in City of Ships
  4. if she is 18 in 1580 that makes her born around 1562
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 City of Masks
  6. 6.0 6.1 City of Secrets
  7. City of Ships
  8. City of Masks
    "... It's the least we can expect," said the second "specially now our little sister is Duchessa."
  9. City of Masks
    "... They ate cakes on Burlesca with Arianna's grandparents, and huge fish dinners with Valeria and Gianfranco and the gentle fisherman she still thought of as her brothers on Torrone."