Section 1: Introduction and Chapter 1
• At Santa Maria del Pianto in 1764, the English travelers are surprised to learn that a strange man in the church is actually an assassin, who has appealed to the church for sanctuary. The friar offers to send them the narrative of an extraordinary confession, which they receive shortly after returning to their hotel.
• In 1758, Vicentio di Vivaldi first sees Ellena di Rosalba and is attracted by her beautiful singing voice.
• He follows her and Signora Bianchi, the elderly woman she escorts, hoping to see Ellena's face, which is hidden by a veil; he is even more enchanted upon glimpsing her face, after the wind blows her veil aside when Signora Bianchi trips.
• After escorting the two woman home, Vivaldi obtains permission to check on Signora Bianchi the next day, but when he visits, Ellena is nowhere in sight. He learns she is an orphan...
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