Cover image for Under the Tuscan sun : at home in Italy
Title:
Under the Tuscan sun : at home in Italy
Author:
Mayes, Frances.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Broadway Books trade paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Broadway Books, 1997.

©1996
Physical Description:
280 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Originally published: San Francisco : Chronicle Books, 1996.

Excerpts from this book appeared in the New York Times, Ploughshares, and House beautiful.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9780767900386
Format :
Book

Available:*

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DG734.23 .M38 1996C Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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DG734.23 .M38 1996C Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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On Order

Summary

Summary

20th Anniversary Edition with a New Afterword

Twenty years ago, Frances Mayes--widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer--introduced readers to a wondrous new world when she bought and restored an abandoned villa called Bramasole in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. Under the Tuscan inspired generations to embark on their own journeys--whether that be flying to a foreign country in search of themselves, savoring one of the book's dozens of delicious seasonal recipes, or simply being transported by Mayes's signature evocative, sensory language. Now, with a new afterword from the Bard of Tuscany herself, the 20th anniversary edition of Under the Tuscan Sun brings us up-to-date with the book's most beloved characters.


Author Notes

A native of Georgia, Frances Mayes received a B.A. from the University of Florida and an M.A. from San Francisco State University. She is a creative writing professor at San Francisco State University.

Mayes' memoir "Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy," about buying and restoring an abandoned villa in Cortona, was a national best seller in 1996. It became the basis of a feature film of the same name in 2003 starring Diane Lane.

In addition her travel writing, Frances Mayes is the author of six books of poetry and is a respected essayist and gourmet cook. Frances' title Under Magnolia is a 2015 New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It takes a determined effort to read this account of restoring and enjoying a Tuscan farmhouse without experiencing a violent attack of adolescent jealousy. Why her and not me, you'll be screaming as writer and professor Mayes describes languorous lunches on the patio, local wine flowing freely and olive pits casually pitched toward the nearby stone wall. Yes, there were problems--wells running dry, workers vanishing--but the image Mayes creates of her house, the Italian countryside, and her summers there with fellow professor Ed and sundry visitors is nothing short of idyllic: a real-life version of the film Stealing Beauty, but without the funny-looking sculpture scarring the landscape. Mayes' delightful recipes, evocative descriptions of the nearby village of Cortona, and thoughtful musings on the Italian spirit only add to the pleasure. This is armchair travel at its most enticing. Can we really blame ourselves for wanting to strap Mayes down in some ratty armchair while we go live in her farmhouse? (Reviewed Sept. 15, 1996)0811808424Bill Ott


Publisher's Weekly Review

Mayes's favorite guide to Northern Italy allots seven pages to the town of Cortona, where she owns a house. But here she finds considerably more to say about it than that, all of it so enchanting that an armchair traveler will find it hard to resist jumping out of the chair and following in her footsteps. The recently divorced author is euphoric about the old house in the Tuscan hills that she and her new lover renovated and now live in during summer vacations and on holidays. A poet, food-and-travel writer, Italophile and chair of the creative writing department at San Francisco State University, Mayes is a fine wordsmith and an exemplary companion whose delight in a brick floor she has just waxed is as contagious as her pleasure in the landscape, architecture and life of the village. Not the least of the charms of her book are the recipes for delicious meals she has made. Above all, her observations about being at home in two very different cultures are sharp and wise. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Frances Mayes made a name for herself writing about her love affair with Tuscany, where she bought and refurbished an abandoned villa. She tells the full story in Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy (Broadway. 1997. ISBN 0-7679-0038-3. pap. $15); Bella Tuscany: The Sweet Life in Italy (Broadway. 2000. ISBN 0-7679-0284-X. pap. $15); and In Tuscany (Broadway. 2000. ISBN 0-7679-0535-0. $35). (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

In 1990, our first summer here, I bought an oversized blank book with Florentine paper on the cover and blue leather binding.  On the first page I wrote ITALY.  The book looked as though it should have immortal poetry in it but I began with lists of wildflowers, lists of projects, new words, sketches of tile in Pompeii.  I described rooms,  trees, bird calls.  I added planting advice, "Plant sunflowers when the moon crosses Libra," although I had no clue myself as to when that might be.  I wrote about the people we met and the food we cooked.  The book became a chronicle of our first four years here.  Today it is stuffed with menus, postcards of paintings, a drawing of a floor plan of an abbey, Italian poems, and diagrams of the garden.  Because it is thick, I still have room in it for a few more summers.  Now the blue book has become Under the Tuscan Sun, a natural outgrowth of my first pleasures here.  Restoring then improving the house, transforming an overgrown jungle into its proper function as a farm for olives and grapes, exploring the layers and layers of Tuscany and Umbria, cooking in a foreign kitchen and discovering the many links between food and the culture--these intense joys frame the deeper pleasure of learning to live another kind of life.  To bury the grape tendril in such a way that it shoots out new growth I recognize easily as a metaphor for the way life must change from time to time if we are to go forward in our thinking.      Excerpted from Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Festina TardeSempre Pietra
Prefacep. 1
Bramare: (Archaic) To Yearn Forp. 5
A House and the Land it Takes Two Oxen Two Days to Plowp. 24
Sister Water, Brother Firep. 41
The Wild Orchardp. 63
Whir of the Sunp. 75
(Make Haste Slowly)p. 90
A Long Table Under the Treesp. 107
Summer Kitchen Notesp. 124
Cortona, Noble Cityp. 138
Riva, Maremma: Into Wildest Tuscanyp. 159
Turning Italianp. 180
Green Oilp. 194
Floating World: A Winter Seasonp. 205
Winter Kitchen Notesp. 220
Rose Walkp. 234
(Always Stone)p. 242
Relics of Summerp. 258
Solleonep. 271