Under The Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy

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Under The Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy

by Frances Mayes

Chronicle Books | January 31, 1997 | Hardcover

Under The Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy is rated 3.6 out of 5 by 10.
Buying a villa in the spectacular Italian countryside is a wonderful fantasy - even if 17 rooms and a garden in need of immediate loving care are included in the asking price. Frances Mayes - gourmet cook, widely published travel writer, and poet - changed her life by doing just that. Sprinkled liberally with delicious recipes for inspired Italian dishes, amusing anecdotes about the risks of being your own contractor, and a savvy traveler''s reminiscences, Under the Tuscan Sun is Mayes''s enchanting account of her love affair with Tuscany: of scouring the neighborhood for the perfect panettone and the perfect plumber; of mornings spent cultivating her garden, and afternoons spent enjoying its fruits in leisurely lunches on the terrace; of jaunts through the hill towns in search of renowned wines; and the renewal not only of a house, but also of the spirit. An unusual memoir that combines the appeal of M. F.K. Fisher, Peter Mayle, and Martha Stewart, Under the Tuscan Sun is a feast for the senses.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8.38 × 5.88 × 1.13 in

Published: January 31, 1997

Publisher: Chronicle Books

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0811808424

ISBN - 13: 9780811808422

Found in: Travel

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Merely o.k. Frances Mayes bought an old, abandoned house in Italy, and spent summers and Christmases there, with her significant other, restoring the place, inside and out. It was pretty slow-moving. I was warned ahead of time that is was nothing like the movie, so at least I knew that from the start. There were parts that were enjoyable and I focused more on that - surprisingly to me, what I seemed to find most interesting was her descriptions of the restoration of the place. There was a lot of description of food and cooking, which I just wasn't interested in (in fact, I barely skimmed through a couple of sections full of recipes - well, I skimmed the intro to each recipe, and completely skipped the recipes, themselves). There was a small bit (but not much) of travel within Italy and some friends who visited. Overall, the book was merely o.k. for me.
Date published: 2011-09-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from enticing If you want romance and fun watch the movie and forget the book. There is no romance in the book. However if you want to immerse yourself in the beauty of Tuscany, it's colour and culture then this book is for you. Frances Mayes writes wonderfully. She has been fortunate in life and along with her husband has found the perfect house in the perfect part of the world. As I read this book in the summer on my deck in Ontario drinking Italian wine and eating homemade biscotti I was completley transported to her villa.
Date published: 2008-07-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Light and Leisurely One can feel the Tuscan atmosphere such is the realistic writing of the author. A light and leisurely read for both of the sexes.
Date published: 2006-06-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst book ever This book was such a disapointment. Although I give the author points for description, this book was very boring, it had no plot or story line, and was just a huge let down. So much for New York Time reviews. The movie of this book (which is nothing like the book) is better than this, and that's not saying much.
Date published: 2004-07-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Tuscan Sunset? After being a huge Peter Mayle fan and feeling as though reading each passage transported me to Provence, I was so excited to see a book on Tuscany, a place I'd dreamed of going. For the most part, this was a good book and gave some insight into the day to day life of vacationing at a villa (or in this case stone farmhouse) in Tuscany. What I found very tiring about this book was the detail discussed on the home renovations. I even checked the bibliography for a consultation with Bob Vila or This Old House. While it is interesting to read about the transformations of a run down, dilapidated farmhous into a dream vacation home, having to read all the technical details about wiring, etc. is a bit monotonous. Anyways, I am looking forward to reading more about Tuscany and what to expect when I make my trip to the land of la dolce vita...
Date published: 2001-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Under the Tuscan Sun "Under the Tuscan Sun" was the sort of book you could eat for breakfast. Positively littered with juicy descriptions of the Italian countryside, Frances Mayes' book transports the readers to the beauty that is unique to mediterenean lands. While written in the first person, the author managed to accomplish the rather difficult feat of setting herself apart from the story so as to be more true to conveying the spirit of her surroundings. It is rather interesting however to see her growth as a person as she encounters a totally new culture and way of life. All in all, "Under the Tuscan Sun" makes excellent light reading if you are looking for escape rather than commitment to a storyline.
Date published: 2000-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tuscany Comes to Life! Frances Mayes extolls the wonders of an elusive land filled with exquisite foods, labours of love, and a mystique unknown to the North American traveller...until now. Her journey in Tuscany takes the reader to her home in Bramsole and reveals the customs and traditions of small towns in Italia. Both a commentary on her personal growth and on the Italian way of life. And the wonderful recipies are a great bonus to this delightful book!
Date published: 2000-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Under the Tuscan Sun O for La Dolce Vita! Hot suns and cool stone buildings. Magnificent views of noble Tuscan hills, softened with olive groves and vineyards. Add to this the incomparable Tuscan cuisine. Experience all this through the pen of Frances Mayes. Relive her quest to buy and completely renovate a centuries-old villa. In this timeless land, Frances becomes intimately connected to past civilizations — the very trees of the olive groves can be a century old, the churches medieval, the roads and walking paths Roman and the foundations of the walls Etruscan, pre-dating the Roman period. However, it is through food that Frances achieves her affinity with all things Tuscan. Here, one's daily labours are bestowed with a dignity so foreign to our culture. Read this book and find the good life.
Date published: 1999-09-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fabulous Redoing a house? Read this book to find out about the pitfalls of redoing a house in Italy, while falling in love with the poetry of Mayes' descriptions of Tuscany, the people, the land and of course, the food. I imagine the number of people visiting Cortona will skyrocket as a result of this book.
Date published: 1999-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pack My Bags!!! Frances Mayes' story of purchasing and renovating a 200-year old abandoned farmhouse in Cortona Italy is lyrical, enticing and includes recipes for some of the food she describes. Close you eyes and you could swear you were there which, in my opinion, is better than the renovation project worthy of Bob Vila and Martha Stewart. Reading this book is like taking a vacation in your mind: breathe deeply and you can imagine you are there. I have yet to read "Bella Tuscany" but it IS on my list of "must reads" for this summer when I plan to "travel via my patio".
Date published: 1999-05-05

– More About This Product –

Under The Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy

by Frances Mayes

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8.38 × 5.88 × 1.13 in

Published: January 31, 1997

Publisher: Chronicle Books

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0811808424

ISBN - 13: 9780811808422

From the Publisher

Buying a villa in the spectacular Italian countryside is a wonderful fantasy - even if 17 rooms and a garden in need of immediate loving care are included in the asking price. Frances Mayes - gourmet cook, widely published travel writer, and poet - changed her life by doing just that. Sprinkled liberally with delicious recipes for inspired Italian dishes, amusing anecdotes about the risks of being your own contractor, and a savvy traveler''s reminiscences, Under the Tuscan Sun is Mayes''s enchanting account of her love affair with Tuscany: of scouring the neighborhood for the perfect panettone and the perfect plumber; of mornings spent cultivating her garden, and afternoons spent enjoying its fruits in leisurely lunches on the terrace; of jaunts through the hill towns in search of renowned wines; and the renewal not only of a house, but also of the spirit. An unusual memoir that combines the appeal of M. F.K. Fisher, Peter Mayle, and Martha Stewart, Under the Tuscan Sun is a feast for the senses.

About the Author

Frances Mayes is a Georgian who now lives in Cortona, Italy, and San Francisco, California. She has written five books of poetry and is chair of the creative writing department at San Francisco State University.

From Our Editors

Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people. In Under the Tuscan Sun, she brings the lyrical voice of a poet, the eye of a seasoned traveler, and the discerning palate of a cook and food writer to invite readers to explore the pleasures of Italian life and to feast at her table
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