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In Tuscany Hardcover – 26 Oct 2000
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San Francisco writer Frances Mayes told her own story in Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany, her first two books on the beginning of her life in Tuscany. With building works now complete at the rundown villa known as Bramasole, Mayes steps out of the idyllic house on a hill and into the countryside, no longer the tourist.
With In Tuscany Mayes has come much closer to creating the proper distance from her subjects while offering intimate observation. The book's format is a pleasant mixture of a picture book, cookbook, travel guide and journal and the result is an astute sense of what friends, when they visit, must want her to reveal.
It is not all tourism, by any means, and the still-laboured "me" factor continues to have a presence in the essays: "I continue to be amazed that I can feel both so at home and, simultaneously, that I've just arrived. Will I always be new? I've come to think so".
The essays, which move by chapter from Kisses to the Plaza, Festivals, Countryside, Kitchen and Beauty, give Mayes a hub for the stories she tells, inserting recipes and helpful tourist information along the path. Here, she works the best of her not insubstantial abilities to the advantage of her subjects. For those following the Bramasole saga, husband Edward, a poet, pens a lovely essay on the olive harvest.
Photojournalist Bob Krist brings intimacy to the landscape and village images that are paired beautifully with the text so that whether or not it is true, there is a sense of seeing the people in the stories Mayes has created in Tuscany.
It is an unexpected departure from the serial travels and travails of this genre. Those who were put off by the first person discovery aspects of the earlier books should take a second look. --Kathleen Buckley
Frances Mayes' first illustrated book which shows what the Tuscany she's always written about really looks like.See all Product description
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I felt this was like an advert for the businesses in and around Cortona but it's probably still worth purchasing if you are a Tuscan addict! Certainly I commend you to stay in this area and I know you will love Ricardo and Silvia Barcacchi's "Il Falconiere" if not to stay in then at least try out the resurant. Here you can experience Slow Food at it's finest.
If you are a keen cook then Elizabeth Romer's "Tuscan Year " might suit you better but if you want to learn more about the area then make sure you read at least "Under the Tuscan Sun".
If you just want to read then I recommend "Swan" by the same author.
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