Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Travels in Tuscany, Italy

We are off to Tuscany, that delicious province in Italy, best known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and, of course, food. So the first book we feature has to be about food, it goes without saying..... (Click on the covers to find out more about each book)

Immerse yourself into the life and loves of Victoria Cosford as she spends periods of time in Tuscany, leaving her native Australia behind. It is full of delicious looking recipes and really initiates the reader into restaurant life in this beautiful part of the world. Just transport yourself to this little corner of Italy and savour this description from the book: I had never cared about lunch, until I was introduced to Sunday ones in Tuscan vineyards. Celebrations of food and wine  amongst friends  and family, they transcend the notion of mere meals and transform into a theatre for the senses.  It has as much to do with the setting, the compelling beauty of ancient surroundings, of land which has yielded produce for millennia, of eroded stone walls  and roads which wind through hills, and row upon row upon row of vines. There is little more glorious, in summer, than sitting through hours  of golden afternoons at a long wooden table with twelve or sixteen or twenty others, in winter warming limbs and souls with fires and food  and wine.
"Ciò che  si mangia con gusto non fa mai male"
What you eat with pleasure can never make you ill
Seven Seasons in Siena is the story of Rodi’s love affair with the people of Siena—and of his awkward, heartfelt, intermittently successful, occasionally disastrous attempts to become a naturalized member of the Noble Contrada of the Caterpillar. It won’t be easy. As one of the locals points out, someone who’s American, gay, and a writer is the equivalent of a triple unicorn in this corner of Tuscany. But like a jockey in the Palio outlasting the competition in the home stretch, Rodi is determined to wear down all resistance. By immersing himself in the life of the contrada over seven visits at different times of the year—working in their kitchens, competing in their athletic events, and mastering the tangled politics of their various feuds and alliances—the ultimate outsider slowly begins to find his way into the hearts of this proud and remarkable people.
Over the past several years, "the American in Tuscany," has become a literary sub genre. Launched by the phenomenal success of Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun, bookstores now burgeon with nimble, witty accounts of this clash in cultures - Americans trying to do American things in Italy and bumping against a brick wall of tradition. Before this sub genre exhausts itself, it's only fair that we hear the other side of the story - that of a native Tuscan and of dozens of Americans who have stormed through his life and homeland, determined to find in it whatever they are looking for, whether quaintness or wisdom, submission or direction. There is no one better to provide this view than Dario Castagno. A Tuscan guide whose client base is predominantly American, Dario has spent more than a decade taking individuals and small groups on customized tours through the Chianti region of Tuscany. Reared in Britain through early childhood, he speakes English fluently and is therefore capable of fully engaging his American clients and getting to know them.
Have you come across novels and books that have captured the heart and essence of Tuscany? Share them with others in our Comments Box - we always love to hear from you! And all our novels set in Tuscany can be found here


  1. My wife and I are heading to Tuscany next year for our anniversary. I'm surprising her with the trip for Christmas and was looking for a little something to hide the tickets in. I think one of these books would definitely be a great idea. I can hide the tickets inside and wait for her to discover them! I can't wait to see the look on her face when she realizes the real gift is a trip to stay in one of the beautiful villas in Tuscany. I just need to pick which book would be best!

    1. Hi Chuck. What a lovely, romantic gesture! And thank you so much for sharing it with us.
      A quintessential "Tuscan" book is Marlena de Blasi's A Thousand Days in Tuscany - hopefully you will find a book on our site that will be just right to hold those tickets! The ones on this blog are just tasters.

      Merry Christmas from the Tripfiction team, and have a lovely trip!