Bringing Tuscany Home: Sensuous Style From The Heart Of Italy

by Edward Mayes, Frances Mayes
Photographed by Steven Rothfeld

October 5, 2004 | Hardcover

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I always imagine each of the signoras who lived in this house—where she shelled peas, rocked the grandchild, placed a vase of the pink roses. Now I would like to take one of these women back to my house in California to show her how Bramasole traveled to America and took root, how the doors there are open to the breeze from San Pablo bay and to the distant view of Mount Tamalpais, how the table has expanded and the garden has burgeoned…


The “bard of Tuscany” (New York Times) now offers a lavishly illustrated book for everyone who dreams of integrating the Tuscan lifestyle—from home decoration and cooking, to eating and drinking, to gardening, socializing, and celebrating—into their own lives.

When Frances Mayes fell in love with Tuscany and Bramasole, millions of readers basked in the experience through her three bestselling memoirs. Now Frances and her husband, In Tuscany coauthor Edward, share the essence of Tuscan life as they have lived it, with specific ideas and inspiration for readers stateside to bring the beauty and spirit of Tuscany into their own home decor, meals, gardens, entertaining and, most important, outlook on life. In her inimitable warm and evocative tone, Frances helps readers develop an eye for authentic Tuscan style, with advice on how to:

• Choose a Tuscan color palette for the home, from earthy apricot tones to invigorating shades of antique blue.

• Personalize a room with fanciful door frames, unique painted furniture, and fresco murals.

• Cultivate a Tuscan garden, adding fountains, vine-covered pergolas, and terra-cotta urns among the herbs and flowers

• Select the best Italian vino. (Frances describes lunches at regional vineyards and imparts tips for pairing food and wine.)

• Create an atmosphere of irresistible, anytime hospitality—a casa aperta (open home).

• Make primo finds at local antiques markets. (And to help truly bring Tuscany home, shipping advice and market days for several Tuscan towns are included.)

• Set an imaginative Tuscan table using majolica and vintage linens.

• Enjoy the abundant flavors and easy simplicity of the Tuscan kitchen, with details on everything from olive oil and vino santo to pici and gnocchi, plus special homegrown menus and recipes.

• Make the most of a trip to Tuscany, visiting Frances’s favorite hill towns, restaurants, small museums, and other soothing places.


With more than 100 photos by acclaimed photographer Steven Rothfeld (including several of the Mayes’s California home and its Tuscan accents), twenty-five all-new recipes, and lists of resources for travelers and shoppers, Bringing Tuscany Home is a treasure trove of practical advice and memorable images.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 240 pages, 10.3 × 8.34 × 0.71 in

Published: October 5, 2004

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0767917464

ISBN - 13: 9780767917469

Found in: Travel

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Bringing Tuscany Home: Sensuous Style From The Heart Of Italy

by Edward Mayes, Frances Mayes
Photographed by Steven Rothfeld

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 240 pages, 10.3 × 8.34 × 0.71 in

Published: October 5, 2004

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0767917464

ISBN - 13: 9780767917469

Read from the Book

Invito Invitation In 1990, we bought Bramasole, an abandoned, scorpion-inhabited, blackberry-choked villa perched on a terraced hillside just outside Cortona. My husband, Ed, and I were first known as "the French" (because we had a French license plate on our rented car). Later we were called the stranieri, the foreigners. We chose Tuscany for the serene landscape, the frescoes, the piazzas with their fountains and liveliness, the wine, the markets, the festas, and the perfect espresso. We stayed for the people and the way of life we learned from them. Now, after fourteen years of eating pasta al dente, we''ve found ourselves inextricably folded into the intense life of a small town. Without our permission, our private vacation and writing retreat became home . Ten thousand joys attract us to life in Tuscany. Each time we push through the arrival doors at the Florence airport and speed toward Cortona, we both feel rushes of excitement as we pass toasted farmhouses surrounded by vineyards and, in the distance, silhouettes of walled villages. We still marvel: a castle! When we stop at an autostrada grill, Ed tastes his first espresso. Inevitably, he says, "At last, real coffee," and he thanks the barista as though he''s been handed a gift. After that, he drives even faster. Just off the Valdichiana exit, we pass the tenth-century abbey of Farneta, our first marker that we''re near home. I always look back to see the rounded brick apses, as Ed straightens out
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From the Publisher

I always imagine each of the signoras who lived in this house—where she shelled peas, rocked the grandchild, placed a vase of the pink roses. Now I would like to take one of these women back to my house in California to show her how Bramasole traveled to America and took root, how the doors there are open to the breeze from San Pablo bay and to the distant view of Mount Tamalpais, how the table has expanded and the garden has burgeoned…


The “bard of Tuscany” (New York Times) now offers a lavishly illustrated book for everyone who dreams of integrating the Tuscan lifestyle—from home decoration and cooking, to eating and drinking, to gardening, socializing, and celebrating—into their own lives.

When Frances Mayes fell in love with Tuscany and Bramasole, millions of readers basked in the experience through her three bestselling memoirs. Now Frances and her husband, In Tuscany coauthor Edward, share the essence of Tuscan life as they have lived it, with specific ideas and inspiration for readers stateside to bring the beauty and spirit of Tuscany into their own home decor, meals, gardens, entertaining and, most important, outlook on life. In her inimitable warm and evocative tone, Frances helps readers develop an eye for authentic Tuscan style, with advice on how to:

• Choose a Tuscan color palette for the home, from earthy apricot tones to invigorating shades of antique blue.

• Personalize a room with fanciful door frames, unique painted furniture, and fresco murals.

• Cultivate a Tuscan garden, adding fountains, vine-covered pergolas, and terra-cotta urns among the herbs and flowers

• Select the best Italian vino. (Frances describes lunches at regional vineyards and imparts tips for pairing food and wine.)

• Create an atmosphere of irresistible, anytime hospitality—a casa aperta (open home).

• Make primo finds at local antiques markets. (And to help truly bring Tuscany home, shipping advice and market days for several Tuscan towns are included.)

• Set an imaginative Tuscan table using majolica and vintage linens.

• Enjoy the abundant flavors and easy simplicity of the Tuscan kitchen, with details on everything from olive oil and vino santo to pici and gnocchi, plus special homegrown menus and recipes.

• Make the most of a trip to Tuscany, visiting Frances’s favorite hill towns, restaurants, small museums, and other soothing places.


With more than 100 photos by acclaimed photographer Steven Rothfeld (including several of the Mayes’s California home and its Tuscan accents), twenty-five all-new recipes, and lists of resources for travelers and shoppers, Bringing Tuscany Home is a treasure trove of practical advice and memorable images.

From the Jacket

"I always imagine each of the signoras who lived in this house--where she shelled peas, rocked the grandchild, placed a vase of the pink roses. Now I would like to take one of these women back to my house in California to show her how Bramasole" traveled to America and took root, how the doors there are open to the breeze from San Pablo bay and to the distant view of Mount Tamalpais, how the table has expanded and the garden has burgeoned...
The "bard of Tuscany" ("New York Times) now offers a lavishly illustrated book for everyone who dreams of integrating the Tuscan lifestyle--from home decoration and cooking, to eating and drinking, to gardening, socializing, and celebrating--into their own lives.
When Frances Mayes fell in love with Tuscany and "Bramasole, millions of readers basked in the experience through her three bestselling memoirs. Now Frances and her husband, "In Tuscany coauthor Edward, share the essence of Tuscan life as they have lived it, with specific ideas and inspiration for readers stateside to bring the beauty and spirit of Tuscany into their own home decor, meals, gardens, entertaining and, most important, outlook on life. In her inimitable warm and evocative tone, Frances helps readers develop an eye for authentic Tuscan style, with advice on how to:
- Choose a Tuscan color palette for the home, from earthy apricot tones to invigorating shades of antique blue.
- Personalize a room with fanciful door frames, unique painted furniture, and fresco murals.
- Cultivate a Tuscan garden, adding fountains, vine-covered pergolas, and terra-cotta urns among the herbs and flowers
- Select the best Italian vino. (Frances describes lunches atregional vineyards and imparts tips for pairing food and wine.)
- Create an atmosphere of irresistible, anytime hospitality--a "casa aperta (open home).
- Make primo finds at local antiques markets. (And to help truly bring Tuscany home, shipping advice and market days for several Tuscan towns are included.)
- Set an imaginative Tuscan table using majolica and vintage linens.
- Enjoy the abundant flavors and easy simplicity of the Tuscan kitchen, with details on everything from olive oil and "vino santo to "pici and" gnocchi, plus special homegrown menus and recipes.
- Make the most of a trip to Tuscany, visiting Frances''s favorite hill towns, restaurants, small museums, and other soothing places.

With more than 100 photos by acclaimed photographer Steven Rothfeld (including several of the Mayes''s California home and its Tuscan accents), twenty-five all-new recipes, and lists of resources for travelers and shoppers, "Bringing Tuscany Home is a treasure trove of practical advice and memorable images.

About the Author

In addition to the two-million-copy bestseller Under the Tuscan Sun, FRANCES MAYES is the author of Bella Tuscany and In Tuscany; Swan, a novel; The Discovery of Poetry, a text for readers; and five books of poetry. EDWARD MAYES is the author of six books of poetry. They divide their time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Cortona, Italy. STEVEN ROTHFELD’s photos appear in Frances Mayes’s annual “Tuscan Pleasures” desk calendar, and he has illustrated many books and calendars, including his own French Dreams, Italian Dreams, Irish Dreams, and Entrez. He lives in California’s Napa Valley.

From Our Editors

When Frances Mayes fell in love with Tuscany and Bramasole, millions of readers basked in the experience through her three bestselling memoirs. Now Frances and her husband, In Tuscany coauthor Edward, share the essence of Tuscan life as they have lived it, with specific ideas and inspiration for readers stateside to bring the beauty and spirit of Tuscany into their own home decor, meals, gardens, entertaining and, most important, outlook on life.
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