When I was in Siena, Italy last week with the WXXI Travel Club, I picked up a copy of an historical novel by Marina Fiorato. Called Daughter of Siena, it traces the fate of a young woman in the Tuscan hill town during the Palio, a chaotic annual horse race in which jockeys circle the townâ€™s central piazza. Set in 1723, the main character watches her betrothed die during the
â€śThe Queen of the Night vanished into the split rock, the stage lift worked, the prince and the birdcatcher set out on their adventures. The scene changed and in a room in Sarastroâ€™s palace lay Pamina, abandoned and afraid. And here was alchemy again as the quarrelsome, rapacious Raisa became a young girl whose simplicity and seriousness was affirmed in every limpid note.