Elisabetta Montaldo

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Elisabetta Montaldo is a painter, costume designer and writer. She studied in Rome at The Art School and The Academy of Fine Arts, and since 1988 has designed costumes for opera, film and the theatre. Her work has won numerous awards including the David di Donatello (twice!) and the Ciak d’Oro. She is a member of the European Film Academy.

Her first novel, Rafila, is set in the tenth century when the House of Islam was a sweeping melting pot of different races and cultures, stretching from India to Spain, and tells the story of the teenage Rafila. Allowing herself to be kidnapped by a young and glamorous Arab merchant, she's taken to Cordoba, then the largest and richest city of western Islam, and finds herself in a remarkably progressive world where women are allowed to study literature and science. Rafila is at once a personal journey of discovery and the tale of a key period in history that would later result in the European Renaissance.

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