Helpful votes received on reviews: 92% (23 of 25)
Location: Italy


Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,142,891 - Total Helpful Votes: 23 of 25
Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Leigh Fermor's great classic is extraordinary. His language is immensely beautiful, but I believe that the secret to understand the book is that he is actually painting pictures with words. There are some great set pieces in this second volume such as the Easter ceremonies in Hungary, his unforgettable aristocratic hosts and the chateau life he began to lead after Munich while still camping out from time to time. His descriptions of those country houses, and their denizens, particularly once he crosses into Romania, are like small jewels.

The great glory of this book is the trip he makes in Transylvania: it shows a world which no longer exists (Romanian, Hungarians, Swabians etc… Read more
Vanilla Beans and Brodo: Real Life in the Hills of&hellip by Isabella Dusi
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gushing in Tuscany, 22 Jun 2008
Have you ever read a gushing magazine article and come away feeling slightly guilty about the waste of time, and rather nauseated by the material itself, yet unable to put it down? That is more or less the sensation I had after reading this book.

The book is written - very badly - in breathless prose. The author tells us all we ever wanted to know about the wine-producing village of Montalcino but manages to make it appear commonplace. She only hints at the differences between the townsfolk and the wine-producers, and does not mention at all the difficult reality of living in Tuscany.

There is so much that is glossed over in this book: politics, religion etc. The… Read more
The Hills of Tuscany: A New Home in an Old Land by Ferenc Mate
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I looked for and bought my own bit of Tuscan paradise after I read Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun. I thought that it could not be bettered. Mate has written a different sort of book - which may even equal Mayes. Only time and subsequent re-readings will tell.

I am ashamed to say that I only discovered Mate's The Hills of Tuscany just now - nearly 10 years after its original publication. Mate and his wife Candace set out on their search for their Tuscan dream house while renting a house near the gorgeous unspolt village of Palazzuolo Alto, Monte San Savino, as their base. I know the area very well and this part of the book is extremely evocative to me, including their… Read more