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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

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Under the Tuscan Sun

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Under the Tuscan Sun Cover

ISBN13: 9780767916066
ISBN10: 0767916069
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

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.

    

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Gold Gato, September 5, 2014 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
"...for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life."
- RILKE

I read the whole book from cover-to-cover on a plane trip. Maybe it was the writing, maybe it was the locale, maybe it was because I was leaving sun and flying into snow, but I really enjoyed this book. Frances Mayes had me turning pages to discover the results of her house renovations, her travels in Tuscany, and her recipes.

In a way, Francis Mayes gave me permission to change a life...and warmed me to the marrow ever since.

Book Season = Summer (lemon cake, tangerine sorbet)


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Product Details

ISBN:
9780767916066
Subtitle:
At Home in Italy
Author:
Mayes, Frances
Publisher:
Broadway
Location:
New York
Subject:
Cookery, italian
Subject:
Europe - Italy
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Tuscany
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
108-80
Publication Date:
20030826
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8 x 5.28 x .7 in .55 lb

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Related Subjects

Travel » Travel Writing » Europe
Travel » Travel Writing » General
Travel » Travel Writing » Italy

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