Customer Reviews for

Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home In Italy

Average Rating 3.5
( 105 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(37)

4 Star

(26)

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(19)

2 Star

(11)

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(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A superb feast

I am an avid reader. I don't waste time on books if they don't catch my interest right in the beginning. Hey, there are sooo many books out there to read and so little time. Anway, this book is beyond words. I tasted the food described and felt the sun on my...
I am an avid reader. I don't waste time on books if they don't catch my interest right in the beginning. Hey, there are sooo many books out there to read and so little time. Anway, this book is beyond words. I tasted the food described and felt the sun on my back and sensed the colors of the terrain. It was such a treat to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book that transports them to another place! She has a new one coming out too....titled "Swan".

posted by Anonymous on October 8, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

It Really Just Depends

I started reading this book knowing that it was going to be nothing like the movie. And let me tell you, I was right. I knew it wouldn't have the fluff and romance the movie did, and I was okay with that- or so I thought.
This book is beautifully written, and if you...
I started reading this book knowing that it was going to be nothing like the movie. And let me tell you, I was right. I knew it wouldn't have the fluff and romance the movie did, and I was okay with that- or so I thought.
This book is beautifully written, and if you're one of those armchair travelers, you'll absolutely LOVE IT- go buy it right now! Although, if you're not...then think a bit more before.
I think that this book would be something fantastic to read if you wanted to relax and escape from your world, if only for a little bit. Maybe the reason I didn't like it so much was because I was on my school's winter break, and therefore- already too relaxed. This book had no action, no romance, and nothing really to get me INTO it. Then again, if I ever have a really rough day where everything seems to be going wrong- I will
definitely pick up this book and read a couple of pages. Because it's relaxing, it's interesting, it's descriptions are flawless.
If you want to read this book and ENJOY it, you have to love learning, because that's what it is, really. It's teaching you about her experience in Italy and the country's culture as well.
To sum it up, this book is for those who love biographies, beautiful and descriptive writing, culture, and something that you can sit down and relax to.

posted by Mrs_Fitzwilliam_Darcy on January 6, 2009

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A delicious read!

    Under the Tuscan Sun follows creative writing professor Frances Mayes and her husband as they move to Italy and restore a villa, all while sampling the local food and learning how to be Italian.<BR/><BR/>This book is mostly about home restoration and food, two topics Mayes manages to make both humorous and interesting. I loved the book, but there were a few things that bothered me.<BR/><BR/>First, Mayes' descriptions of her childhood throughout the book scream of wealth and privilege... not nice at all. Secondly, her attitude towards the Catholic church really bothered me. She seemed to almost make fun of it, going to far as to mention that she wants a font of holy water for her home! I find this extremely offensive, being Catholic myself.<BR/><BR/>But those things are few and far between in the book, and besides them, the book is great, very relaxing to read and slow-paced, so it's easy to follow. It's good to read over and over, and the recipes included sound so delicious, you just want to try them yourself. Unless you're someone looking for a romance or action book, you'll love Under the Tuscan Sun.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2004

    A Recent Italian Traveler

    I am 18 years old, and I recently returned from a trip to Italy, on which I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Frances Mayes, right outside her home, Bramasole. For all of the readers who do not understand how she could love those simple things so much, it would be hard to imagine....unless you have been there, which I have. Italy, particularly the region of Tuscany, is a breathtaking place that cannot possibly be done justice in a book. I love this book simply because when I read it, I remembered how much I loved being there.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    Excellent Choice

    This is a very detailed book. Like a previous review stated, it is not a "before bed" book. It's more of a rainy Sunday afternoon curl up on the couch with a book, blanket, and a glass of wine. I bought this book because I wanted to see how close the movie was to it. There are bits and pieces from the book in it, but doesn't come close. If you enjoy the movie, you will love this book. I can't wait to read Bella next.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2006

    I liked this.

    If you're after 'chills & thrills,' this isn't for you. This is an adventure of the spirit, for those who enjoy learning as they read. Ms. Mayes & her companion Ed Kleinschmidt take the risk of buying a run-down house in Tuscany &, over the succeeding summers, renovate it, making discoveries about the house, the surrounding country, their neighbors, & themselves.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2015

    A great winter read, and my escape from a subzero February

    If you’ve ever struggled to pound a nail, a screw or a bolt into 150-year-old beech wall framing (yes, it could double for cast iron), this could be the book for your coffee breaks. It worked for me. You may end up thinking your renovation problems, while tough, are no big deal. This well-written memoir includes not only the details, and occasional turmoil, of renovating a very old Tuscan house but also life in a wonderfully pastoral landscape with tales of forays into village markets and other near-by venues. Not least you practically get to know the variously talented, infuriating, funny and caring locals. And in case it all starts sounding like time for lunch, there are even some Tuscan recipes. I should also say that I far preferred the book to the movie which, while entertaining, did not and probably could not begin to do justice to this artful memoir.

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  • Posted March 20, 2012

    Quite different from the movie

    But a lovely book to read. Gives a wonderful insight to living in Italy. Wish I could trade places with her!

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book for Armchair Travelers

    You should start with this book before reading Frances Mayes other two books on her life in Tuscany Italy. It is good book for a rainy day at home or at the beach on a sunny day. Also, if you saw the movie Under the Tuscan Sun you should read this book because it is much better and much different than the movie. The only problem I have with the book is the lack of illustrations and photos. However she is good at describing her life over there that it makes up for the lack of photos.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2003

    Italy I come!

    This book is written really well. I am really enjoying the book. It goes into detail of Italy which I can picture. It is a very heart-warming book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2003

    A vacation in the pages...

    I really enjoyed this book, but it wasn't what I would call 'light reading'. I had to read without any form of distraction so I could escape to her beautiful location. Every page was filled with dense descriptions of her surroundings and detailed narratives, and I felt as if I were on a wonderful vacation. It was a very enjoyable read, despite the two weeks it took me to finish the book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2003

    Nice read

    I enjoyed the book and look forward to the movie. Also enjoyed The Butterfly by Jay Singh and Life of Pi by Yan Martel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2001

    Tremendously scenic!

    I am planning a trip to Italy next year and this book makes my mouth water! Not only does it transport you into the small Italian town but it introduces the many idiosyncracies of the culture so you are not surprised when you get there!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2002

    A Travelogue for the Senses

    A deliciously rich view of the Tuscan lifesyle. Delicious because of all the wonderfully uncomplicated Italian recipes we are given that show Italians love to eat home grown food in a most unconvoluted manner. Slight additions of perhaps olive oil, basil, and garlic insure that each food's unique flavor and nutritional value remain pure and uncompromised. Rich because of the reader's discovery of the simplicity with which the people of this region live in sync with their medieval and glorious history as well as with the vibrant colors of their sun-filled landscape.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2000

    Descriptive

    Miss Mayes descriptions of the land, people and food are superb. I would recognize her summer home just from her descriptions. I could feel the sun, the breezes and the curtains blowing on the cool mornings in Tuscany. Her interest and referral to the Etruscans was interesing. But I felt she could have been more open to the art and sculpture she witnessed at the Catholic churches and cathedrals she visited. The same sensitivity should have been evident in both areas. I have dog earred several of the scrumptious sounding recipes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2000

    Molto Buono!

    Really enjoyed the detail that the author gives in every chapter. It's very true to the way of life in a small village in Italy. The descriptions in the food, wine, people, countryside, are enjoyable.

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    Posted February 27, 2011

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    Posted January 22, 2010

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    Posted December 3, 2008

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    Posted July 8, 2011

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    Posted October 3, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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