Page 152. " The eponymous Madonna who was found in a local's garden, "

The statue of the Madonna dell'Orto (Madonna of the Garden), was brought to the church because it was rumoured to be miraculous.

Statue of Madonna dell'Orto
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeStatue of Madonna dell'Orto

Page 156. " she rather fancied the long water journey past the Cimitero "

The bones on the island of Cimitero di San Michele have to be disinterred and moved on after ten or twelve years, to make space.

Cimitero di San Michele
Creative Commons AttributionCimitero di San Michele - Credit: J.P.Puerta

Page 160. " a man would walk on that water and by that it would be known he was the Messiah "

A reference to the New Testament story of Christ walking on the Sea of Gallilee, in front of his terrified disciples: John 6:19

Page 161. " Ecbatana "

 Ecbatana, now modern Hamadan, was an important city at the foot of a mountain, sometimes considered to have been the capital of Media before being overtaken by the Persians and becoming a royal city.

Page 162. " Azarius did not look at me like a basilisk "

A basilisk, in Greek and other legends, was said to kill by its glance, in some versions turning its victim to stone.


Woodblock print of basilisk
Public DomainWoodblock print of basilisk

Page 165. " they had taken an apartment on the Guidecca "

Sunbeams on Giudecca
Creative Commons AttributionSunbeams on Giudecca - Credit: robophotos

Though Giudecca, an island in the Lagoon of Venice,  could be translated as 'Jewry', it was not one of the three Jewish ghettos in Venice. (See bookmark 207).

It is no.15 on the map at the back of the book (Afterword p.7).

Page 169. " San Giorgio Maggiore's imposing facade slid towards them. "
san Giorgio Maggiore
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alikesan Giorgio Maggiore - Credit: waysider83

The Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore was designed by Andrea Palladio  in the sixteenth century. The brass angel can (just!) be seen on the top of the campanile (bell tower.)

Below is the marble interior, which Julia dislikes.

San Giorgio Maggiore Interior
Creative Commons AttributionSan Giorgio Maggiore Interior - Credit: asw909