Under the Tuscan Sun Paperback – 31 Jan 2004
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
In this memoir of her buying, renovating and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Frances Mayes reveals the sensual pleasure she found living in rural Italy and the generous spirit she brought with her. She revels in the sunlight and the colour, the long view of her valley, the warm homey architecture, the languor of the slow paced days, the vigor of working her garden and the intimacy of her dealings with the locals. Cooking, gardening, tiling and painting are never chores, but skills to be learned, arts to be practiced and above all to be enjoyed. At the same time Mayes brings a literary and intellectual mind to bear on the experience, adding depth to this account of her enticing rural idyll. --Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Lyrically written and beguiling... What makes it special is the sustained note of joy in it; joy in the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, the sights and sounds of daily life, the physical labour involved in the restoration of this 200-year-old villa and the five acres of land that go with it" (SUNDAY TIMES)
"Like many delightful books, this account of restoring a Tuscan farmhouse and its land is hard to classify. The author is a poet, good at evoking atmosphere and describing place; a cook who collects appetizing winter and summer recipes; an academic who sets her new home in its Roman and Etruscan context. Above all, Mayes is an enthusiast for starting over. After the dissolution of a long marriage, she celebrates Christmas in Italy with her grown-up daughter and her new partner. 'Is this much happiness allowed?' she asks. You bet" (MAIL ON SUNDAY)
"Frances Mayes is a wonderful writer. She captures with exceptional poetry and vivacity the extraordinary beauty of Tuscany. She understands Tuscany like a person who was born and has lived here all her life" (Lorenza De'Medici) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Due to their teaching schedules, they are able to devote an entire summer every year, plus a Christmas break, to the renovations. In between removing eco-systems of spiders and scorpions, linseed oiling the cotto floors, cleaning windows, designing the new kitchen and bathrooms, clearing the terraces of weeds, they also make trips to other parts of Tuscany where Mayes describes the food, the architecture, the people, the landscape. As the renovations progress, you get to meet the local tradespeople, some of the villagers, as well as Mayes' guests who visit from America.
I love this book and read it about once a year. Warning! By the end you will be longing to jump on the next plane to Italy, if only to find a good trattoria and sample some of the foods & recipes Mayes presents in her book. It is a quiet book, which may not appeal to those who saw the movie starring Diane Lane, but if you are looking to read something heartwarming on a cold winter's day, do read this one.
I could just simply relive the bizarre situations that the authors describes and in a way feeling a bit relieved I wasn't the only one having problems.
Somewhere in between the book became a bit boring and I had to plod my way through the pages. The author seems to love a lot Italian cuisine because she's always describing what she's eating in the various restaurants she's been at, in different places in Italy, especially Tuscany.
First of all it should be made clear that this book is about privileged expats living in Italy, it is not about life in Italy at all. Mayes does write with a lovely lyrical style, it is very poetic; strained at times, a bit forced and trite in places, but overall the writing is very pleasing to read. Mayes cleverly evokes delightful scenes and is particularly expert at bringing incredible meals wafting off the pages.
I talked about this book with my brother and he mentioned that he found Mayes too smug. I think he is right, she is smug, but oddly enough I didn't mind that at all. If I ever fulfil my dream to own a house in Italy (Umbria not Tuscany!) I think I will allow myself to be a little smug too.
But apart from that, she certainly conjures up the lifestyle, the countryside & the FEEL of Italy - sorry, the feel of TUSCANY - quite unlike other parts of Italy. At times I could almost smell the air filled with the scent of hay, peaches & herbs. We have relatives there with friends who renovated an old house - she could have been describing their place, on the same hillside!
If you haven't been to Tuscany, this will make you wish to be there ... ***
This is the usual story of someone who loved a place located far from home, her attempts to find an affordable house there, the magical moment when she found it and her fantasies about the blissful years ahead, sharing delightful meals with friends on the terrace and admiring wonderful views - that is, once she has installed all the conveniences of modern life like running water, electricity etc.
Unfortunately, to achieve this nirvana, she has to deal with the crafty locals who are out to milk the ignorant incomer and relieve her of her savings.
After all the trials, it turns out that, despite their external appearances, each one of these local peasants, storekeepers, lawyers, builders etc. has a heart of gold and everyone lives happily ever after.
(Unless you are Dirk Bogarde, that is, whose never-ending autobiographies chronicled more of the downs than the ups and his subsequent decision to leave his idyllic place in Provence as illness, old age and encroaching urbanization destroyed his dream.)
The subject has been done to death and does not improve with repetition.
I thought this might be different as it was written by an American rather than a European but I was wrong. It is as dull as a plate of cold overcooked pasta washed down with tap water.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have read it so many times and it always delights all the sensesPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Makes you SO jealous that a couple could have such a wonderful time when Life isn't usually like that. Brilliant writing and so absorbing.Published 4 months ago by Joyful
I absolutely loved this book. It made me feel as though I were in the middle of Tuscany, eating delicious Italian food. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I like the story of this by Frances Mayes, not as the film!!! so don't expect it to be, but going through step by step in her journey there is a great read. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Scoobysue