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Extended Audio Sample Under the Tuscan Sun Audiobook, by Frances Mayes Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.49 out of 53.49 out of 53.49 out of 53.49 out of 53.49 out of 5 3.49 (37 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frances Mayes Narrator: Frances Mayes Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780553751574
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20th Anniversary Edition with a New Afterword
 
Twenty years ago, Frances Mayes--widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer--introduced readers to a wondrous new world when she bought and restored an abandoned villa called Bramasole in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. Under the Tuscan  inspired generations to embark on their own journeys--whether that be flying to a foreign country in search of themselves, savoring one of the book's dozens of delicious seasonal recipes, or simply being transported by Mayes's signature evocative, sensory language. Now, with a new afterword from the Bard of Tuscany herself, the 20th anniversary edition of Under the Tuscan Sun brings us up-to-date with the book's most beloved characters.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A New York Times Notable Book of 1997
  • This beautifully written memoir about taking chances, living in Italy. loving a house and, always, the pleasures of food, would make a perfect gift for a loved one.  But it's so delicious, read it first yourself. USA Today
  • Irresistible...a sensous book for a sensous countryside. Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • An intense celebration of what [Mayes] calls ‘the voluptuousness of Italian life’ . . . appealing and very vivid . . . [The] book seems like the kind of thing you’d tuck into a picnic basket on an August day . . . or better yet, keep handy on the bedside table in the depths of January. New York Times Book Review
  • Armchair travel at its most enticing. Booklist
  • Mayes [has] perfect vision. . . . I do not doubt that centuries form now, whoever lives in Bramasole will one day uncover bits of pottery used at Mayes’ table. She has, by the sweat of her brow and the strength of her vision, become a layer in the history of this place. Los Angeles Times
  • After buying a rundown villa in rural Tuscany, the American author Frances Mayes moves to Cortona to renovate the property and learn more about the Italian dolce vita. Her bestselling memoir on her time there paints a vivid description of the town, the people and the lush surrounding countryside of rolling hills and vineyards. A poet and a gourmet cook, Mayes includes a number of chapters on food, replete with classic Italian recipes to further whet the appetite. Irish Times

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sara | 2/12/2014

    " I don't tend to bail on books before I finish them, but I did on this one. Just not my cup of tea, I suppose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 2/5/2014

    " I've read this book twice. First time I found it a slow read, hard to get through. But very good recipes. Better read the second time. Actually reread it to compare it to the movie. The movie added alot that was not in the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 2/1/2014

    " Made me seriously consider relocating to Italy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jolene | 1/26/2014

    " Mayes is a widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer so that should tell you all you need to know about her memoir, Under the Tuscan Sun. She and her husband buy and restore an abandoned villa in the Tuscan country side. She sensually describes a simply, beautiful life (if you happen to have the funding for said simply life) in a casual, beautifully written novel. Its a good escape book with not much of a plot. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laurie Stoll | 1/26/2014

    " I hope the movie was actually better than the book this time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 1/23/2014

    " Listened and loved it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 1/23/2014

    " I had read this book and enjoyed it a lot. Also saw the movie which isn't much like the book. I don't know much about wine, art and italian cooking but the idea of restoring an old Villa might be fun. she is a wonderful descriptive writer and makes you feel like you are there. Reading it again I still liked it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 1/16/2014

    " most painful read ever. ugh! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Genna | 1/11/2014

    " I thought the movie was AMAZING. Didn't care for the book though. Would never have even read the book without seeing the movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lumindanu | 1/9/2014

    " The first book is good, the rest... were written for money... and are precious, pretentious, and tedious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 1/4/2014

    " I read "Under the Tuscan Sun" prior to seeing the movie. I loved the concept of a women taking solice in the Italian country-side as she takes time to reflect on the important things in life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eilis | 12/17/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book mainly because I read it while I was in Italy :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 12/17/2013

    " A beautiful, atmospheric, nostalgic, memoir about renovating a home in Tuscany and learning about the culture and life there. I really enjoyed it and would read it again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen Witter | 12/9/2013

    " Slow going. Sometimes poignant. Written by a woman with a poets soul about finding a physical and metaphoric home in Italy. As the wife of a builder, the tales of the restoration of the house intrigued me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat Tucker | 12/4/2013

    " This book has been on my "to read" shelf for a few years. I was fascinated by the process of renovating a villa in Tuscany, by her wonderful descriptions and insights. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanne | 12/2/2013

    " It was just as much fun to read as the first time I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 11/21/2013

    " I love the recipes at the end of the chaper. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tricia | 10/8/2013

    " I think perhaps travel/home remodeling memoirs are just not for me. Click here for my full review. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan Brister | 4/22/2013

    " I just loved this book. The writer made you feel that you were actually there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen Michaud | 2/28/2013

    " Sometimes life's biggest knocks position us for the happiness we've always sought. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 2/9/2013

    " Did you see the movie? The book is different, except that the couple in the book bought the same house as the single divorced woman in the movie. My husband had to tie me down to keep me from moving there while I read this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Inky | 1/28/2013

    " Having read this while in Tuscany was really nice. And completely agree with her account of Cortona. Absolutely fell in love with th place. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 1/4/2013

    " I enjoyed the descriptions of the house and the people. I could picture myself living the tuscan life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria | 8/23/2012

    " Enjoyed her description of food and life in Italy. Wished she had cut short the several chapters on looking for Etruscan tombs - that was boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 6/25/2012

    " Great book to read on holiday. Light and fresh. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Yy | 4/23/2012

    " I was not able to finish this book. Sorry. Just not right for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 1/16/2012

    " Loved all the vicid detail. Started reading it while in tuscany but for some reason could not get into it. Will try again sometime. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorna Kennedy | 11/13/2011

    " It took me awhile to get through this one but I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/18/2011

    " This book is good if you love details about everything. It had it's funny parts too though. Good read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jayne | 5/17/2011

    " Really good book which has made me want to buy a farmhouse in Italy, grow veg and cook delicious meals!! Which I guess, was kind of the point! :-) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 May | 5/16/2011

    " I decided to read the book after I saw the movie and it was disappointing that the book and the movie is not the same. The movie is more inspiring but the book just makes you craves for Italian food all the time! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Faramir10 | 5/13/2011

    " Enjoyed reading about Italy and the descriptions of remodeling the house, however I thought it was too long and quit reading it about 3/4 of the way through. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lissa | 5/10/2011

    " While this was entertaining in places, I must say I'm a bit put off my self-involved tales written by folks with seemingly endless resources - it's all a bit smug. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maggie | 5/10/2011

    " I read this when Ollie and I were visiting Europe (and Tuscany in particular for a week) which made it very enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Missy | 4/19/2011

    " Absolutely loved this book and the movie is wonderful, too! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 4/18/2011

    " Beautiful and clear description so that I could picture the setting. A good read about change and observation of life in a different culture - and great recipes at the end of each chapter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan | 4/12/2011

    " loved this book! I have always wanted to go Italy - reading this book, I felt as if I were there... "

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About the Author
Author Frances Mayes

Frances 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. She is also the author of the novel, Swan, several books of poetry, and The Discovery of Poetry. A native of Georgia, she now divides her time between San Francisco and Cortona, Italy.