Italia. Mark's love affair with all things Italian began as a child, when his family lived along the Tyrrhenian Sea near Florence. As an adult, he has spent over thirty years traveling across Italy's remarkable landscape. Tuscan Echoes chronicles one memorable season during which the author revisits some of the sights and sounds that have haunted his dreams for years.
Set amid the glorious surroundings of Florence, Tuscany, Umbria, Assisi, and Venice, the author's journey takes readers to quiet, out-of-the-way corners where moments of the mysterious and the sublime spring to life: ghosts appear in villas; fireflies illuminate a Florentine garden; a haunted gondola rests, landlocked, in Venice; marionettes dance in Assisi.
Tuscan Echoes is a uniquely personal portrait of a timeless place, a beloved land, and generous, gregarious, people. Sensual, passionate, mystical and full of surprisingly intimate moments, this luminous debut work is a journey you must not miss.
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As a writer, I was greatly impressed with Mark Gordon Smith's ability to transport readers to this fascinating country with simple, evocative descriptions. As a lover of everything Tuscan, I felt I was walking alongside Smith on his journey. And as the son of Italian immigrants (also from Tuscany), I felt my ties renewed and strengthened by this beautiful love song.
Exquisite travelogue memoir of author Smith's 'season in Italy,' notable for its richly descriptive passages about place, its tenderness of spirit, and its remarkable effectiveness at translating with exactitude, the grand sense of nostalgia Smith feels for 'the sights and sounds that have haunted' his dreams for years. Writes he: 'The wood-covered hills of Monte Subasio, above Assisi, were well known to Saint Francis. Before our class meets each day, there is time to explore the many paths that cross the mountain. The fresh air and cooling shadows of the forest offer welcome privacy from the city below. I spend a part of each day in the high reaches of the hills. As I approach the intersection of two paths, I stop to take in the view. Trees on each side of the trail gather closer overhead and rise to a meeting point, creating an archway. The shade-dappled path leads up into a nave as light, filtering through trees, takes on the colors of stained-glass windows. The sun pierces through the pine-scented haze of woodland air; its rays fall on the dusty, earthen floor. Birds move back and forth across the path, their music filling the air.' Readers join Smith for a vicarious trip to Tuscany, Umbria, Assisi and Venice ¿ and to Florence and its surrounds, where in the 1950s Smith and his family lived along the Tyrrhenian Sea. Smith entered the corporate business world ¿ and then left that world to write ¿ and owners of Tuscan Echoes will be especially glad that he did.
I have just finished reading Tuscan Echoes, a Season in Italy and had to take a moment to comment. I have read a lot of other works about Tuscany, most recently 'Under the Tuscan Sun.' What Mark is able to achieve in his work is a unique, unusual, sensuous, passionate look into the lives of Italians. Rather than make the usual pass at museums and art galleries, the more typical tourist attractions, he directs our attention to the small, hardly noticed, moments in the day-to-day lives of Italians. His visions of travelling across Tuscany and Umbria and his ability to put me in the places he writes about is so rare that I found myself putting the book down, from time to time, closing my eyes and taking a moment to see myself in the places he describes. It seems to me that this book is ideal for both the travelled visitor to Italy as well as the the first time visitor who seeks the unusual, less traveled, by-ways of Italy. You should read this book!