Frances Mayes– Under the Tuscan Sun (1996)
Mayes shares a wonderfully written travel memoir that will draw you in and have you fantasizing about your next overseas adventure. Mayes is a poet, cook and travel writer who creates a story that fuses these talents beautifully with eloquent language, delectable recipes and a fascinating insight into the Italian lifestyle. I love a good travel story, I love to escape into the unknown and discover the culture and appreciation of somewhere foreign. Mayes will take you on a travel adventure without even having to leave your couch!
Mayes and her partner Ed purchase a villa in the Tuscan countryside and spend the next three years restoring it back to a livable dwelling. They fly between their home in San Francisco and Tuscany frequently to get the array of jobs underway.
This story is all about getting back to basics, getting your hands dirty, picking fruit and cooking with freshly picked herbs. I became absorbed in an appreciation of land, nature and the inner strength that a place can provide within one’s identity.
Each time I picked up this book, my mouth would water at the hint of Italian flavours and I would lose myself in a fantasy world of living in the dreamy Tuscan countryside. I have never craved olive oil and bread until now. This story will make you want to pack your bags and move to Italy! Highly recommended.