Spotlight on: Andrea Molesini

ItalBooks is proud to spotlight Not All Bastards are from Vienna, the latest novel from acclaimed author Andrea Molesini.


Winner of the prestigious Campiello Prize, this internationally bestselling debut novel tells the riveting story of an Italian family whose courage is tested when their villa is requisitioned by enemy troops during the First World War. In the autumn of 1917, Refrontolo—a small town north of Venice—is invaded by Austrian soldiers as the Italian army is pushed to the Piave river. The Spada family owns the largest estate in the area, where orphaned seventeen-year-old Paolo lives with his eccentric grandparents, headstrong aunt, and a loyal staff. With the battlefront nearby, the Spada home becomes a bastion of resistance, both clashing and cooperating with the military men imposing on their household. As his family succumbs to acts of jealousy and betrayal, love and hate, Paolo is recruited to help with a compromising covert operation, and his life is put in irrevocable jeopardy. Not all Bastards Are from Vienna is an unforgettable portrait of the erosion of tradition and the fall of an Italian aristocratic family, whose personal battles burn with more fire than those of the war happening around them.


War and Peace meets The Leopard in a novel set among Italian aristocrats during the Great War. . . . A remarkable story. . .  a historical novel that speaks to the present as powerfully and clearly as it does of the past.” —Wall Street Journal


“[Not All Bastards Are from Vienna is] wonderfully alive—often terribly so—as a wartime adventure and story of youth arriving at manhood.”—New York Times Book Review


Andrea Molesini lives in Venice, Italy, where he was born. Not All Bastards Are from Vienna was an international bestseller and it won the prestigious Premio Campiello and Premio Comisso, among other awards. He is a poet; an author of children’s stories that have been translated into French, Dutch and Japanese; and a professor of comparative literature at Padua University.


Photo credit: Federica Bottoli