Cosmopolitan: Special Renaissance Edition!

Since my next book is moving from ancient Rome to Renaissance Rome, it’s time for some Renaissance-themed blog posts! Starting with something fun for the weekend: a circa-1492 edition of Cosmopolitan. Because why not?

Plenty of mentions here of my heroine from the upcoming The Serpent and the Pearl, Giulia Farnese, and all her various Borgia companions . . .

On the cover: GIULIA FARNESE: The Pope’s Mistress Spills Her Secrets


Furred gown (price upon request). Paris hat with plume (price upon request). Pearl earrings (on loan from Vatican treasury). To get Giulia’s subtle-but-sexy look, try kohl in Botticelli Blue and lip rouge in Raphael Red, and luminescent skin powder in Da Vinci Diamond. (Use actual diamond dust for extra glow.) Hair: wear a pearled snood for this sophisticated look, or just let those gorgeous golden waves hang all the way to your feet! Don’t have floor-length hair? Try Giulia’s secret weapon: a weekly mask rubbed into the scalp to encourage fast growth. (Details page 88) You’ll have those locks down around your knees in no time!











Cosmo News
35 Hot Sheet
Trends we’re buzzing about! Are dagged sleeves here to stay?
44 Sexy vs. Skanky
Botticelli’s Venus–he left her naked, but should he have painted a dress on her? You decide!
56 The Real Story: A Nun Escapes The Convent
Why she risked everything to break her holy vows
62 Confessions
She lied to her confessor about sleeping with a condottiere!
64 Guys Spill: The Little White Lies They Tell You
He promised to marry her–but forgot to mention that he’s a priest!
66 Beauty Evolution: Lucrezia Borgia’s Style Progression
Our Pope’s little princess is all grown up! Lucrezia Borgia trades her pastel frocks and girlish slippers for daring necklines and (gasp!) towering stilt clogs! Get this look for less than 300 ducats.

Lucrezia likes hers a full ten inches tall! Scandalous, but good for keeping skirts out of the mud!

Cover Story
69 The Bride of Christ
Lean in close for some girl talk with Christendom’s most notorious woman! Giulia Farnese spills to Cosmo about that famous floor-length hair, not to mention Pope Alexander VI, her surprising friendships with his children, and the five things you should never tell your guy (even if he’s the Pope!)










The question only Cosmo would dare to ask: does having the Pope as your BF damn you to hell, or is the Holy Father’s absolution the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card? Read her answer here!

Fun Fearless Fashion
74 In-Style Indian
In honor of our recent discovery of a new continent, everything this season is coming up native! Fringes, beads, and leather equals hot, hot, hot–all plundered cheap and chic from the New World! (Allow six months for trans-oceanic shipping.)
75 10 Steals at the Piazza
Bargain-price accessories at the Piazza Navona–replica silver saint’s medals, every possible saint guaranteed!
78 Not Your Mother’s Snood
Pearls and spangles put a sexy spin on the old-married-woman staple!

Cosmo Look
86 Beauty News
Crownless sun-hats allow you to sun your hair and keep that skin white–genius!
88 His Picks
Gentlemen prefer blondes, so wash your hair in Giulia Farnese’s special saffron and cinnabar rinse
92 Beauty Q&A
Use our special bean-flour and pigeon-dropping face mask to tighten and tone!
93 Wiggin’ Out?
Four wig styles that flatter everyone

Guy Watch
102 Stud Meter

Cesare Borgia hits the top! We can’t get enough of this scary-but-sexy bad boy who makes a bishop’s robes look so damn hawt. Meet his companions in . . .
104 Deadly Dreamboats
Henchman-in-chief Michelotto has stone-cold killer eyes and the abs to match, but don’t overlook the latest addition to the Borgia stable of assassins: smart-mouth Leonello. Sure, this little man’s only up to your shoulder, but we hear he’s got wicked knives, and a wicked tongue to match!
10 The Other Borgia Boys
Cesare’s younger brother Juan has a wife, but who cares? She’s in Spain, and he’s looking for a new mistress! And don’t neglect little brother Joffre–his memoir Growing Up Borgia comes out this year!

Juan Borgia: ok, so he has a reputation for rape, murder and killing stray dogs. But who can resist a guy in a plumed helmet?

107 Bad Hair Days Around The Papal States
Come on, priests–we know church law mandates tonsures, but shaving the crown of your head is so not sexy. Keep it minimal like Cesare Borgia with a short patch at the top, and let your curls go wild!

Love and Lust
110 21 Relationship Tips From Venice’s Most Successful Courtesans
You can’t be seen associating with these women, so we did the research for you.

You won’t believe her Tip #19!

112 Arranged Marriages: Getting It Right
Learn to love the man your parents picked for you
116 Ask Him Anything
Will your husband mind if you breast-feed your baby? Yes! Remember, ladies, he needs heirs, so he’ll want you pregnant again as soon as possible.
121 He Slept With A Courtesan�Does It Count As Cheating?
First question: did she give him the French pox?

You, Even Better
138 How To Be An Artist’s Muse
Botticelli’s famous Primavera dishes tips on posing nude, holding still, and dealing with the artistic temperament. Everlasting artistic fame will be yours in no time!

Getting a crick in your neck during those long modeling sessions – occupational hazard!

139 6 Tips To A Perfect Basse-Danse
Just remember to keep your back stiff during this classic after-dinner dance�but don’t be afraid to show a flash of ankle in the turns. So daring!
142 How To Be Noticed In Church
Everybody knows men scout for future brides during Mass�with these subtle-but-sexy tips, you’ll be engaged by the time the Offertory comes around!

Health Check
150 The Cosmo Health Report: Your Sexual Health
Here’s the real truth about the French Pox, and how to spot the bad boys who have it. (Hint: avoid men with rotting noses.)
154 Cosmo Gyno
The new birth control: half a Neapolitan lime, and you won’t believe what we tell you to do with it! (Just don’t tell your hubby.)
155 Your Body
Ten exercises to keep that waist tiny, even after the tenth childbirth!

Need To Know
161 Bull Through
Our fail-safe guide to the bullfights our Spanish Pope has made so trendy. Impress your man with your bull-fight know-how the next time he takes you to an afternoon of bloodshed!

Cesare Borgia bullfights for fun – and he can take a bull’s head off in one stroke! Now that’s sexy.

Fun and Fearless
164 The Naughtiest Thing I’ve Ever Done
Lucrezia Borgia hired courtesans to entertain at her wedding–and they picked up chestnuts off the floor with their what?
166 Are You There, Sancha?
Sexy Sancha of Aragon might be married to little Joffre Borgia, but this sexpot Borgia daughter-in-law moonlights as our resident bad-girl columnist! This issue, she spills on papal conclaves, world domination papal-style . . . and just what she thinks of all these Borgia incest rumors.

Cosmo Life
170 Weekend
Lent is just around the corner, but you know what comes first: Carnival! Get in the spirit by putting on a mask (Giulia Farnese likes a unicorn mask) and running wild through the city!

Go ahead, make out with a masked stranger – you can always atone once Lent begins!

172 You and Him
Men may like floor-length hair, but it sure gets tangled around everything whenever you and your man get frisky. Pause your sexy time long enough to make a quick braid.
178 At Your Place: Carmelina’s Cena
Giulia Farnese’s private chef is a woman who knows her business. Copy her menu for Lucrezia Borgia’s (first) wedding banquet, and impress your guests with an all-sweets buffet: miniature tourtes of caravella pears and summer strawberries, honeyed pastry stars stuffed with blood orange segments, sugared violets and apple blossoms, creamy swans with candied almond feathers . . . yum!
181 Healthy Sexy Strong
Muscle tone is so not sexy�here’s how we keep you looking soft all over

Cosmo Astrologer
188 Your priest disapproves of astrology, but we won’t tell!
A bad month for Taurus (don’t fall for a sweet-talking artist who swears he’ll make you famous if you only take off your clothes!) but a good month for Sagittarius (a rich suitor is waiting just around the corner with a marriage proposal. Already married? Then the proposal will come for your twelve-year-old daughter!)

It’s never too early to settle her future!

Red-Hot Read
192 Swoony Sonnets
You’ll sigh for Petrarch’s latest dreamy lyrics�and just who is this mysterious golden lady he calls his Laura?

Cosmo Quiz
193 The Three Female Fates: Nun, Wife, or Whore. Which Are You?
Mostly A’s: nun. Let’s hope you look good in veils.

Mostly B’s: wife. But wives can be sexy too! Just ditch the bad hat.

Mostly C’s: Courtesan! Get yourself a sexy dress and start charging by the hour!

Hope you enjoyed this Renaissance edition of Cosmo!

Cosmopolitanus: The Magazine for Roman Vixens Across The Empire

Last month’s Cosmo: Senator’s sexy wife Lepida Pollia spilled all about fashion, ambition, and her outrageous sex life!

On the cover this month: THEA: The Emperor’s Mistress Spills Her Secrets

Tunic by Guccius. Earrings by Tiffanius. To get Thea’s look, try kohl in Smoky Gray, liner in Wood Ash, rouge in Masada Magic, and lip rouge in Sandstone Neutral. Hair: Thea keeps it low-key with sexy waves. Or for the look she made famous, braid hair into a crest with a ribbon (Thea likes silver!) and toss over one shoulder for girl-next-door sexy. So cute!

35 Beauty Evolution: The Empress’s Style Progression
Commoner to queen means pastels and prints to sapphires and silk! Get this look for less than 300 sesterces
44 The Real Story: The Emperor’s Niece Takes Her Vows
Why she chose thirty years of chastity as a Vestal Virgin
56 Sexy vs. Skanky
Statues: totally naked or tastefully draped? You decide!
60 Confessions
Her parents caught her with a trident fighter–the day before her wedding!
62 Guy Confessions
He told her he’s a charioteer–but he’s just a lawyer!
64 Hot Sheet
Trends we’re buzzing about! Are gladiator sandals here to stay?

Just like Thea wears – cute and comfortable!

69 Mistress of Rome
Thea spills to Cosmo about Emperor Domitian, her surprising friendship with his wife, and how she keeps the most powerful man in the world happy. (It’s not what you think!)

We catch the Emperor’s mistress at home for some girltalk!

74 Not Your Mother’s Stola
New draping techniques put a sexy spin on this old-married-woman classic!
75 10 Steals at the Forum
Bargain-price accessories at the Forum Romanum–cheap and chic!
78 Beautiful British
In honor of our newly-conquered province, everything this season is coming up Celtic–neck torques, spiral brooches, and Brigantian jet, all plundered direct from the front!

Skip the blue face paint, but grab yourself some barbarian chic!

86 Wiggin’ Out?
Four wig styles that flatter everyone
88 His Picks
Ambergris: the new perfume guys love
92 Beauty Q&A
Use a bread-paste face mask to tighten and tone!
93 Beauty News
Get that Egyptian cat’s eye liner perfect every time

Cat’s eye kohl, just like Cleopatra!

102 Stud Meter
Arius the Barbarian hits the top! We can’t get enough of this surly-but-sexy gladiator. Meet his friends in . . .
104 Gorgeous Gladiators
Abs to die for–and they do! You’ll flip for these short-lived studs
107 Bad Hair Days Around The Empire
Mustaches and beards from Ireland to Syria. With hair like that, no wonder they couldn’t withstand our legions. Clean-shaven rules–literally!

A rare smile from taciturn bad boy Arius as he relaxes with his steady girl. Who might that be? No one knows, but she is one lucky lady!

Today’s hottest gladiators – go ahead and fantasize!
Note: Gladiator #2 died in the arena after Cosmo went to press

110 He Slept With A Slave Girl–Does It Count As Cheating?
First of all, don’t sell her to a salt mine
112 Arranged Marriages: Getting It Right
Learn to love the man your parents picked for you
116 Ask Him Anything
Does he have sex with his buddies? If yes, don’t worry . . . unless he’s the one on the bottom
121 100 Sex Tips From Rome’s Most Successful Courtesans
You can’t be seen associating with these women, so we did the research for you. You won’t believe Tip #47!

Rome’s priciest pros are here to help your marriage!

138 How To Impress the Emperor
With strategies like these, you’ll never be exiled to a desert island!
139 How To Shop For Slaves
Foolproof ways to avoid the troublemakers and bring home the pick of the market every time
142 6 Tips for A Perfect Massage
Win your husband’s heart with these tips from the masseuses at the Baths of Diocletian

He’ll be putty in your hands after Tip #4

150 The Cosmo Health Report
Unwatered wine can wreck your health (and your reputation). Read here!
154 Cosmo Gyno
The new birth control: auyt gum and acacia tips! It works for Egyptian women; now it works for you
155 Your Body
Maximize your trip to the bathhouse with a fifteen minute steam–great for the skin!

A good sweat followed by a good swim will have you glowing

161 Race Ready
Our fail-safe guide to the chariot races: the horses, the drivers, and the factions. Impress your man with your racing know-how the next time he takes you to the Circus Maximus!

Single? There’s no better place than the Circus Maximus to scout hot guys!

164 The Naughtiest Thing I’ve Ever Done
A wax plug with a little pig’s blood–my husband never knew I wasn’t a virgin!
166 Ask Atia
Our resident bad-girl columnist spills on barbarians, Vestal Virgins, and world domination Roman-style.

Have a question for Atia? She’s seen, heard, and done it all!

170 Weekend
Lupercalia festival this week! Get in the spirit by donning leather loincloths with your man and running through the city cracking a whip!
172 You and Him
Prep a slave by the bed with a fan for the next time you have sex–you’ll enjoy the cool breeze!
178 Healthy Sexy Strong
Want to look like a lady of leisure? A muscle-free physique is key
181 At Your Place: The Perfect Dinner Party
Impress your guests with stuffed sow’s udders, sea urchins in almond milk, and roast dormice rolled in poppy seeds. Our resident chef shows you how

Sea urchins always make a splash!

188 From Nessus–the Emperor’s astrologer reads your stars. He’s never wrong!
A bad month for Scorpio (don’t fall for a sweet-talking legionary!) but a good month for Taurus (a hot new slave might spice up your nights at home!)

He may look good, but Scorpios should pass him up!

192 Girl on girl action!
Don’t miss the new erotic poetry from Sappho

Bonus points: no rash from beard stubble!

193 Are You Mistress Material?

Mostly A’s: First wife, arranged marriage.

Mostly B’s: Sexy wife, second marriage.

Mostly C’s: Mistress on the side!

Hope you enjoyed this special Roman edition of Cosmopolitanus!