Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life

Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life

by Frances Mayes
3.5 57

Paperback

$10.30 $15.00 Save 31% Current price is $10.3, Original price is $15. You Save 31%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Wednesday, October 25 ,  Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.
    Same Day delivery in Manhattan. 
    Details

Overview

Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life by Frances Mayes

In this sequel to her New York Times bestsellers Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany, the celebrated "bard of Tuscany" (New York Times) lyrically chronicles her continuing, two decades-long love affair with Tuscany's people, art, cuisine, and lifestyle.
 
Frances Mayes offers her readers a deeply personal memoir of her present-day life in Tuscany, encompassing both the changes she has experienced since Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany appeared, and sensuous, evocative reflections on the timeless beauty and vivid pleasures of Italian life. Among the themes Mayes explores are how her experience of Tuscany dramatically expanded when she renovated and became a part-time resident of a 13th century house with a stone roof in the mountains above Cortona, how life in the mountains introduced her to a "wilder" side of Tuscany--and with it a lively  engagement with Tuscany's mountain people. Throughout, she reveals the concrete joys of life in her adopted hill town, with particular attention to life in the piazza, the art of Luca Signorelli (Renaissance painter from Cortona), and the pastoral pleasures of feasting from her garden.  Moving always toward a deeper engagement, Mayes writes of Tuscan icons that have become for her storehouses of memory, of crucible moments from which bigger ideas emerged, and of the writing life she has enjoyed in the room where Under the Tuscan Sun began.
 
With more on the pleasures of life at Bramasole, the delights and challenges of living in Italy day-to-day and favorite recipes, Every Day in Tuscany is a passionate and inviting account of the richness and complexity of Italian life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780767929837
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/08/2011
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 206,135
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

In addition to her Tuscany memoirs, Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany, Frances Mayes is the author of the travel memoir A Year in the World; the illustrated books In Tuscany and Bringing Tuscany HomeSwan, a novel; The Discovery of Poetry, a text for readers; and five books of poetry.  She divides her time between homes in Italy and North Carolina.  Visit France Mayes’s blog at www.francesmayesbooks.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Every Day in Tuscany 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Have you ever looked forward to a dinner, a party, an event with so much eager anticipation that the reality could not possibly match your expectations? That's descriptive of the situation I found myself in when awaiting the arrival of Frances Mayes's latest EVERY DAY IN TUSCANY. I am a huge fan of Mayes's work, totally bewitched by UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN and others, so in all fairness it may be that nothing she wrote could possibly enchant me as much as her previous work. As always, her prose is poetic, beautifully wrought, and her powers of description undiminished. EVERY DAY IN TUSCANY is surely a pleasure, but for this reader simply not as exciting, as exhilarating as the others. Wonder if after almost two decades spent in Italy the subhject is not as intoxicating for her either. Mayes's narrative tends to be a bit rambling, disjointed reminiscences of time spent in Tuscany and environs. More introspective, at times very much a diary filled with random thoughts. One would have to share her passion for tracking the works of the artist Luca Signorelli throughout Italy or find interesting her remembrance s of a Southern childhood. Having said all of that the narrative is, of course, pure unadulterated Mayes who often weaves a spell with words, allowing us to smell the bubbling tomato sauce, taste the "creamy and unctuous" hot chocolate, and experience Cortona where "the rhythms of the piazza are an ancient folk dance." So, indeed, there is much to enjoy in EVERY DAY IN TUSCANY. In addition to meeting her exuberant friends, enjoying time spent with grandson Willie, and understanding her frustration with the boars who seem to constantly root gardens, we join Frances and Ed as they travel from Cortona to other towns, Orvieto, Arezzo, Positano, and more. I found myself making notes, underlining so as not to miss the restaurants and sights Mayes describes so temptingly when we return to Italy. Obviously, few of us can enjoy Italia as she does - with two homes to alternate between. But, as always, this author gives us many happy dreams. Especially meaningful for this reader was one of the final sections re Rome. She noted, "Of the great cities, Rome has the biggest heart.' How true! And after young Willie saw the Trevi fountain, he closed his eyes and said, "I can't see any more. If I see any more, I will miss Rome too much." If there isn't another book coming from Frances Mayes, I would miss her too much. Should this be your first Mayes book, you're in for a rare treat. If it's the third or fourth for you, it is still the singular Frances Mayes. Enjoy! - Gail Cooke
petrini1 More than 1 year ago
Like Frances Mayes's earlier books about central Italy, "Every Day In Tuscany" is a beautifully written memoir of her experiences as an American living part-time in the house she and her husband bought and renovated in the Tuscan hill town of Cortona. In her first memoir, "Under the Tuscan Sun," Mayes describes the purchase and renovation of their home, Bramasole. In "Every Day in Tuscany," she provides a series of vignettes that give a detailed, evocative picture of what it's like to live there. I brought this book to Tuscany with me, and I found it to be just as useful (and more entertaining) than Frommer's, Rough Guide, and Rick Steves. Because of this book, I knew to try the strangozzi (a wonderful, thick pasta that's a regional dish in Tuscany, excellent with black truffle sauce) and that "cinghiale" on a menu means wild boar. Also because of this book, I made sure to seek out Cortona when I was looking for hill towns to visit, and I discovered that it's just as appealing in person as it is in the book. Mayes describes breathtaking landscapes, quirky villagers, and mouth-watering meals. She provides recipes that I'm dying to try out. And she relates her adventures not just living at Bramasole but also traveling around Tuscany and to other parts of Italy. In particular, I was fascinated by her exploration of Etruscan ruins and her search for artwork by Cortona's 15th-century hometown painter, Luca Signorelli. This book is less focused than some of her others. As the subhead indicates, Mayes is describing scenes from her life in Italy, not telling a unified story. The lack of a real story arc wasn't a problem. The book is not so much a single narrative as a buffet table of Tuscan experiences. It was fun to dip into while traveling, to serve myself up a chapter about one place or one aspect of Mayes's life, and then to put the book away until I had another spare moment for reading. I especially loved the sequences about the author's family. Her daughter and her grandson Willie come from the States to visit Mayes and her husband, and some of my favorite passages were those in which Frances introduces Willie to life in Italy. Whether you're traveling to Tuscany in reality or via armchair (and oven) Mayes is a delightful, insightful tour guide for your trip.
CGR More than 1 year ago
Frances Mayes was an English professor in San Francisco CA that bought an abandoned villa in Cortona, Italy in 1990. She journaled as she refurbished her home - Bramasole - and published Under the Tuscan Sun in 1996. Thus was born a legend. Two more books were published in the next four years, with another two in 2004 & 2006. Now, Every Day in Tuscany joins the group, 14 years later. If you liked the other books, you will like this one. Much has changed in the 20 years since this journey began. Frances and Ed married, moved from one house in SF to another, then to Marin County, before transplanting their US base to North Carolina. (It must be a relief to save 10 hours of flying per trip to Italy, not to mention the 3 hour time difference to the West Coast). Another ramshackle building was bought and refurbished near Cortona. Both quit their teaching jobs to write full time. Mayes' daughter Ashley married and had a son named Willie. Fast forward to the present day. Even though decades have passed, Frances's passion for traveling, food and cooking, as well as the artist Luca Signorelli, remains. It is nice to know that has not changed. Willie is now 8. Reading this book is like catching up with an old friend after 4 years. I found the story about the beloved new neighbors, a Cuban American clan of 17, to be charming. While one story was particularly dark, it was included for a reason. Add to that, Ed and Frances were in Cortona when Italy won the World Cup in 2006. I was chagrined to read that Bramasole needed some maintenance, with the Mayes' wondering how it would all be paid for. She only mentioned in passing that she was working with a national American furniture company, designing a collection for them. In addition, a book advance, dear Frances, would pay for the new roof, electrical work, drainage, a terrace door and screens. Life is bella and I look forward to the next installment.
Amcgraw More than 1 year ago
I loved Under the Tuscan Sun, but found this book a little hard to get through. I first found myself thinking it was a lot like some of Peter Mayle's books (which I love), in that it was about everyday life in Italy and there was not a certain cohesiveness to the book, but rather a collection of accounts of life. There were bits of the story that I really enjoyed and some that I didn't care for, but other readers may love. For example, there is an extensive part of the book dedicated to the art of Cortona's Signorelli. I can see art aficionados loving that section, I didn't love it, but liked the religious references regarding the art. I found that thought provoking. I prefer to read about Italy's countryside (which was described in beautiful detail in the book) and the food and this book doesn't just focus on those topics (which isn't all bad!). It would be a nice book club book and I thought it would make a great book to read and discuss in a college art/religion course.
K8Met More than 1 year ago
I've read each of Freances Mayes four travel books, Under the Tuscan Sun, Bella Tuscany, A Year in the World, and this, Every Day in Tuscany. Each feels like a visit to a friend you haven't seen in sometime, and have a million things to talk about. Ms Mayes invites us to experience Cortona, her Italian hometown, through her eyes. She's been a part-time resident there for 20-odd years, and loves it like a native. I especially like reading her books on a miserable winter day when I long to feel the sun on my face, her descriptions of Italy are detailed and vibrant. Not everyone can make the trip to Tuscany, so we can only hope she continues to send us these snapshots of her life
DebDD More than 1 year ago
I loved the third book on Frances Mayes life in Italy, but had wished she had less description on the religious art in Italy and included more photographs of the town and villages she visited and lived in Tuscany. If you are a fan of her first two novels you will like this book also.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rambling, disjointed, hard to finish
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for instant gratification this book is not for you. Frances lingers over wine & food, art and fellowship. She embraces the Italian custom of savoring the moment and she will not be hurried. Bramasole is finished, her gardens lush. Time to travel & see new things. Reviewers who give this book few stars fail to linger and savor the moment along with her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago