Under the Tuscan Sun At Home in Italy Author:Frances Mayes Frances Mayes -- widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer -- opens the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In sensuous and evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. An accomplished cook an... more »d food writer, Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. Doing for Tuscany what M. F. K. Fisher and Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion. A celebration of the extraordinary quality of life in Tuscany, Under the Tuscan Sun is a feast for all the senses.« less
I had mixed feelings about this book. Clearly, Frances Mayes is a talented writer. She has an amazing ability to portray her travel experiences with poetic narrative, a talent not all writers possess. As much as I enjoyed her writing style, however, I found myself skimming through much of this book, particularly where food was the main focus, perhaps due to the fact that I do not cook much. Her descriptions of the life and food of Tuscany did not make me yearn to cook, but it did make me hunger for Italian food and to visit the country someday. I did thoroughly enjoy reading of the restoration mishaps, as I have had some experience with do-it-yourself projects gone awry myself! If you enjoy books about travel and cooking, you may enjoy this book. I highly recommend the movie starring Diane Lane, loved it!
I absolutely loved this book and have another copy on my keeper shelf! I think this is a must-read for anyone who loves travelogues or Italy. Just be warned...reading this book will make you hungry for food you can't find easily in this country!
Betsy G. reviewed Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy on
Helpful Score: 5
This book was delightful to me. I am interested in history, gardening, cooking, and fixing old houses, and Frances Mayes weaves all these together in this story of her home in Tuscany. Almost like going on vacation.
I guess I expected this book to be more of a story than it was. Having lived in Italy for 3 years as a service member, and learned to speak Italian, the descriptions of the people and the towns were pretty accurate. I don't think the decription of the attitude of the contractors was accurate though. I found Italians are a hard working, generous people who enjoy life with gusto. This book seems more bragging about how much money they have to spend than anything else and how many "famous" people they know. The recipies are wonderful, IF you love to cook. Overall, it was dissapointing and boring.
Most important - read the book on its own merits - it is nothing like the movie. Dig in and enjoy being transported to a world you can only imagine being able to afford... buying an old, dilapidated home in central Italy that you get to transform into a dream home to live in every summer. Her descriptions of the Italian villages, countryside and foods will leave you truly yearning to visit.