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Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy (1996)

by Frances Mayes

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tuscan Memoirs (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,7801301,330 (3.53)1 / 156
Now in paperback, the #1 "San Francisco Chronicle" bestseller that is an enchanting and lyrical look at the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany, in the spirit of Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence." 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.… (more)
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    Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Under the Tuscan Sun is a dreamier book, gentler and more idealistic than the rough-and-tumble and sometimes drug-soaked Blood, Bones & Butter, but both authors adore Italy and are lavish at showing their love on the pages.
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» See also 156 mentions

English (123)  Dutch (4)  French (2)  Estonian (1)  All languages (130)
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
Wordy, but made me want to be there. ( )
  KittyCatrinCat | Aug 29, 2021 |
To be honest, this book seemed dull based on the cover. It was lying around in my parents house, untouched for more than 20 years, collecting dust. Then I just could not bare looking at it anymore and decided to read it. The first half was surprisingly nice, mostly because of the beautiful language. However, around half way it became dull. Compared to the more recent autofiction of the 2000s, this is very non-personal book. There's no inner struggle and very little struggle even with Italians, cultural differences and renovation of an old house. It is just a beautifully painted landscape, a dream fulfilled and, yes, it gets very boring after 100+ pages and there's still another half to go. I finished it but wouldn't say it's worth it. And no, I don't think I'm the kind of person who needs an exciting storyline and things to happen fast, I just need something to relate to and there was very little to relate to here. Maybe if you love Italy there would be more: I know very little of Italy, and this book was a nice introduction but it could have offered more. Either personal touch or deeper insight into the country. ( )
  Lady_Lazarus | Aug 7, 2021 |
Read it for the fun" of renovating an old home, to meet interesting characters ... and for the food. Definitely for the food. ( )
  markburris | Jul 11, 2021 |
Good evening,

I initially had difficulty finding this book, because I didn't do any research and didn't know that *Under the Tuscan Sun...* was nonfiction. Part travelogue and part cookbook, it offers a fascinating look at the mechanics of buying and restoring an old stone house in the Italian countryside, as well as at the rhythms of village life in the transition from foreigners to family. Highly recommended. ( )
  Jimbookbuff1963 | Jun 5, 2021 |
I have a lot to say and none of it's nice. Back with a review. ( )
  Stacie-C | May 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
It was with considerable baggage that I recently revisited "Under the Tuscan Sun" this year, on the occasion of its twentieth anniversary, and discovered that my opinion of the book has grown ever so slightly more generous with age. This is not to say that I found the book free of flaws the second time around. For one, it contains virtually no narrative conflicts; each incident that could potentially cause tension gets resolved within paragraphs or, at most, a few pages. Will the villa’s previous owner sell to Frances and her partner, Ed? Yes, he will. Will a big pile of money needed to make the deal arrive by wire? Several paragraphs later, it does. Frances stubs her toe, to much consternation, and a few lines later Ed applies a Band-Aid...

However I feel about Mayes and her privilege, and the marketing phenomenon that has flourished in her wake, there’s no denying that her prose brings Bramasole to life. When the workers begin to open up a wall between her living room and the kitchen, removing large stones, Mayes writes, “It’s the imagination that carries us through the stress of these projects. Soon we will be happy!” During a Christmas Day snowfall, while her daughter and a friend are visiting, she asks, “Is this much happiness allowed?”
 

» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mayes, Francesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Quijada, EncarnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reerink, DonsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Ann Cornelisen
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"What are you growing here?" The upholsterer lugs an armchair up the walkway to the house but his quick eyes are on the land. [Preface]
I am about to buy a house in a foreign country.
Quotations
Where you are is who you are. The further inside you the place moves, the more your identity is intertwined with it. Never casual, the choice of place is the choice of something you crave.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Now in paperback, the #1 "San Francisco Chronicle" bestseller that is an enchanting and lyrical look at the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany, in the spirit of Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence." 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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