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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,090 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frances Mayes Narrator: Frances Mayes Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 ISBN: 9780307702975
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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 listeners 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 thirteenth-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. 

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Quotes & Awards


  • Booklist
    Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life.
    Mayes, Frances (Author)
    Mar 2010. 320 p. Broadway, hardcover, $25.00. (9780767929820). 945.
    Almost 20 years have passed since Mayes planted roots in a dilapidated (read: insanely charming) old farmhouse outside the Tuscan hill town of Cortona. Now, in her third memoir, she takes us to her second Italian abode, a rundown (read: cozy and idyllic) cottage in the woods. We take an hour walk to gather the makings for tonight’s dinner, we smell the lemon trees growing in the next room over; we’re right there with Mayes, fighting every urge to jump straight into these sun-soaked and citrus-scented pages. Also on the menu: Mayes serves up a delightful smattering of the recipes that she has the undisputed privilege to enjoy during lengthy dinners with friends. Following in the tradition of her first two memoirs, Under the Tuscan Sun (1996) and Bella Tuscany (1999), Mayes is generous with her thoughts, and her evocative writing simply oozes charm and warmth. In these times, this quick read is a thoroughly enjoyable way to
    visit Italy without once considering the heartbreaking dollar-to-euro conversion rate.
    — Annie Bostrom
  • KIRKUS REVIEWS
    JANUARY 1st, 2010
    MAYES, FRANCES
    EVERY DAY IN TUSCANY
    Seasons of an Italian Life
    Broadway (320 pp)
    $25.00
    March 9, 2010
    ISBN: 978-0-7679-2982-0
    Mayes (A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller, 2006, etc) continues to gather voluptuous memories in Tuscany…and Umbria, Liguria, the Marche and beyond.
    This collection of two-dozen set pieces finds the author true to her romantic form-hungry to live as close to the bone in her corner of Tuscany as possible, to drink in equal measure from the local wine, the paintings of Luca Signorelli, village folklore and the lilac morning sky. Occasionally she slips into deliquescence, but mostly she’s stirring the reader’s gastric juices with luscious tales from the table or tendering a descriptive nugget that holds fast in the mind’s eye. This might be a day trip to nearby Loreto, "home of the house of the Virgin Mary, borne aloft by angels in 1294, and blown in a storm from Croatia, where it has paused en route from Nazareth"; a morning spent foraging asparagus, fennel flowers and figs; an owl that lifts the roof tiles and squeezes into the attic; or finding a grenade, with accompanying warning note, in her front yard. This last event was the result of a certain dissenting brashness she brought to a civic issue. Understandably distraught, Mayes never quite convinces the reader that the "bomba" will end her days in Cortona, but rather she will learn how to get her opinion heard without discovering explosives in the garden. Food is the pivot around which her days swing, and Mayes serves it forth with brio and dash-and recipes, including stuffed and fried olives, Parmesan flan and chicken under a brick. If the parade of art, food, elemental landscape and abiding camaraderie gives the reader a case of eye-ache and envy, the author can only be admired for having worked hard to earn the life and for celebrating it with such genuine relish.
    Mayes the sensualist in full bloom. (Local events and interviews out of Raleigh/Durham. Agent: Peter Ginsberg/Curtis Brown).

  • Publisher's Weekly
  • Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life Frances Mayes Broadway, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7679-2982-0
    In her most recent Tuscan tour, Mayes conducts readers through the gentle and sometimes violent and disruptive undulations of the seasons from winter to summer in her Tuscan home of Bramasole. In this new memoir, she reflects on the palpable scents emitted by the old-growth chestnut, apple, and olive trees, the jovial hospitality and strength of her friends and neighbors, and the familiar and sometimes disturbing sounds of herds of wild boars rushing through the orchards. Mayes and her husband, Ed, situated themselves even more firmly in Tuscany a few years ago when they discovered a falling-down stone cottage on a rugged slope and restored it as a second home. We follow Mayes as she forages for the prized amarini, cherries the size of five-caret rubies, which are bottled with alcohol and brought out in winter to spoon over polenta cake, pears, blackberries, asparagus, fennel flowers, and figs. We continue on our journey with her as she leads us in search of the great Renaissance artist Luca Signorelli from Cortona, where her new house lies. Mayes’s affectionate and warm memoir vividly celebrates the lush abundance and charm of daily life in the Italian countryside. (Mar.) 
  • LIBRBARY JOURNAL: PREPUB ALERT
    By Barbara Hoffert -- Library Journal, 11/1/2009
     
    Mayes, Frances. Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life. Broadway. Mar. 2010. 288p. ISBN 978-0-7679-2982-0. $25.
    The woman who singlehandedly started the travel-memoir craze returns with more on her life in Tuscany, including her purchase and renovation of a new house in a 13th-century village. With a four-city tour; can't miss.

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teri | 2/20/2014

    " An excellent reminder of things so many of us love about Italy, especially living a full and playful life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elaine | 2/19/2014

    " I liked her earlier books better, but since I already like her I can't help but like this one too. Reading her takes me back to Tuscany and I feel like it's summer when I'm reading. Gotta love that! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Betty | 2/16/2014

    " Did not like her writing style and could not get into the book, even though I am interested in Italy since I plan a trip in February. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 2/10/2014

    " This book doesn't know what it wants to be. A travel essay? Recipe book? A memoir? An art history commentary? Loved Frances Mayes other books, but this one was "been there, done that". Did I detect the slightest hubris, or I'm I just envious? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Gillespie | 2/7/2014

    " For those who enjoyed Under the Tuscan Sun - the book not the movie - then Frances Mayes follow up novel will not disappoint. As in her first she brings her incredible attention to details of life especially as pertains to entertaining and food and delivers them with prose that is truly enjoyable. Aside from living vicariously through her descriptions descriptions or Tuscany, it is wonderful to be able to pair that account with the actual meals she describes. For those who like to cook and love to read this is a one two punch that will surly please. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 1/24/2014

    " This book didn't flow very well but, it was so wonderful to be back at Bramasole. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 bookinglibrarian | 1/22/2014

    " Frances Mayes is an enticing a writer about Tuscany as my other favorite author on this subject, Ferenc Mate. I finish Mayes books yearning to spend time hanging out on the piazza in Cortona, walking the woods, harvesting from field and garden, visting the towns, reading the writers and following the artists who entrance her, and of course eating the food and drinking the wine. Can there be a more bella life? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Starr Hume | 1/22/2014

    " Not what I expected. No real story line. I loved Under the Tuscan Sun & loved it. I was dissapointed. Very boring! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eva | 1/16/2014

    " A wonderfully delightful vacation through Tuscany from the perspective of the author who owns a summer home in Tuscany and loves food. The book is full of interesting stories of life in Italy. This is a must read for anyone who loves Italian food, loves cooking or is planning a vacation to Italy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debie | 12/9/2013

    " Nicely done, recipes included. I'm still in Italy in my mind . . . "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lynn | 11/24/2013

    " Boring. I couldn't finish it. Just a collection of essays about meals eaten and museums visited with an assortment of people. Disappointed since I loved Under the Tuscan Sun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 11/6/2013

    " This book continues Frances Mayes's depiction of Italian life in Tuscany. Like her earlier books, it emphasizes the joys of er ex-pat life, the delightful people she and husband, Ed, know in the region and, of course, the food. It even contains recipes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 11/4/2013

    " A wonderful book for anyone intersted in living in--or visiting Italy.Lots of wine tasting, which I couldn't relate to, but lots of other stuff, which I could admire. She has an engaging, witty style, and an eye for capturing culture and setting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Schwan | 10/18/2013

    " Like her other books a sampling of life in Tuscany. This book talks about food more than her previous ones and includes many recipes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wanda | 9/18/2013

    " Stimulating reading with Frances Mayes!You want to go in her town and meet those characters in her book and have a glass of wine with them!She includes wonderful receipes! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 7/23/2013

    " I really liked many pages of this book but not all. Some seemed forced as a way of filling up the required. number while others struck me with her beautiful language. It is a warm book, filled with a genuine love of the people and place. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 6/10/2013

    " This is a great book to read and enrich your ideas for entertains and travel ling in Italy:) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 9/26/2012

    " Amazing. Warm. Witty. Inspiring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb Mohr | 9/5/2012

    " A bit of a difficult read for me, but if you love the thought of going to Tuscany like I do, then it's a must read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris | 8/13/2012

    " Not as good as "Under the Tuscan Sun" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mimi | 7/26/2012

    " read about 20% - okay "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenitive | 7/5/2012

    " Kind of enjoyable, but the ceaseless name dropping gets tedious. She also keeps saying how everyone loves her so much that you have to wonder whether that's actually the case... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Terri Jacobson | 3/15/2012

    " Just couldn't warm up to the author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 EA | 3/1/2012

    " Not my most Dave Frances Mayes. There are lots of really engaging sections and lots of dry bits. The memoirs bits I really liked but the art bits were really hard to get thru b/c I didn't know what the art looked like! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy Ranno | 2/2/2012

    " Fantastic ideas for your next visit to Italy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 2/1/2012

    " A delightful book to listen to on our last little road trip. I loved hearing the author's Georgian accent and, of course, it brought back great memories of our time in Italy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Danielle | 11/28/2011

    " i couldnt finish it - it was so boring, i couldnt make it a quarter of the way. very disappointing because i loved Under the Tuscan Sun "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carol | 9/23/2011

    " I'm sorry...she is beating a dead horse...nothing new...more of the same. I feel she is fulfilling an obligation to complete a book for publication. But, on the other hand she does write beautiful prose! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becky | 5/24/2011

    " Really running out of fresh things to say... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 5/14/2011

    " Beautifully enchanting, as always. Mayes has a way with description and a lust for living life as it should be lived that is admirable. i hunger for the next installment! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 4/26/2011

    " Great read on Tuscany, including descriptions of sites to visit and recipes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kit | 4/23/2011

    " This is a light, good read. Certainly makes me hungary with all the recipes. I wish I had a ticket and could fly to Italy right now. Mayes is a good author with description that touches the senses - smell, taste, sight. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marianne | 4/14/2011

    " Not as good as Under The Tuscan Sun but light entertainment. A memoir of living in Italy, loving a house and the pleasures of food ( with recipes). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shelly | 4/11/2011

    " Frances Mayes inspires me to live better. I suppose I envy her life a little. But I can explore Italy through her eyes and I enjoy that very much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 3/28/2011

    " Book is very repetitive. Do not expect a plot--items not even in chronological order. The author does have some very good insights as to life, though. She seems to feel that we Americans have much to learn from the Italians. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jhall | 3/4/2011

    " Morer of a cookbook and dairy than Mayes usual books "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gillian | 2/27/2011

    " This was a book which I read slowly over a few months. This was done on purpose as it is not a book to hurry through - too much will be missed. It is one which I will return to read - just to capture again the feeling of being in that city, that country with the author! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 2/3/2011

    " This book isn't as good as her first one "Under the Tuscan Sun", but I once again was caught up in the life that she lives in Italy. I especially enjoyed the sections on art and food. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eric | 1/20/2011

    " Probably not her best work. Seems like she is running out of Tuscan to write about. "

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About the Author
Author Frances MayesFRANCES MAYES is the author of four books about Tuscany. The now-classic Under the Tuscan Sun, which was a New York Times bestseller for more than two and a half years, and became a Touchstone movie starring Diane Lane, was followed by Bella Tuscany and two illustrated books, In Tuscany and Bringing Tuscany Home. Mayes is also the author of the novel Swan, six books of poetry, and The Discovery of Poetry. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.