NonfictionLarge Print Edition*A New York Times BestsellerWith appealing and very vivid snapshot imagery . . . what Miss Mayes mostly provides are the kind of satisfying personal crotchets and enthusiasms you might exchange with an old friend over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. New York TimesWidely published poet, gourmet chef, and travel writer, Frances Mayes opens the door to a voluptuous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside. What she shares with her readers is a feast for the senses as she explores the pastoral Italian landscape, history and cuisine.
In this memoir of her buying, renovating, and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Frances Mayes reveals the sensual pleasure she found living in rural Italy, and the generous spirit she brought with her. She revels in the sunlight and the color, the long view of her valley, the warm homey architecture, the languor of the slow paced days, the vigor of working her garden, and the intimacy of her dealings with the locals. Cooking, gardening, tiling and painting are never chores, but skills to be learned, arts to be practiced, and above all to be enjoyed. At the same time Mayes brings a literary and intellectual mind to bear on the experience, adding depth to this account of her enticing rural idyll.