Presents an evocative, recipe-complemented travel narrative through thirteen regions of Italy, from Friuli to Sicily, that identifies the cultural and historical gems enjoyed by locals. - (Baker & Taylor)
The best-selling author of Under the Tuscan Sun presents an evocative, recipe-complemented travel narrative through Italy's 20 regions, from Friuli to Calabria, that identifies the lesser-known cultural and historical gems enjoyed by locals. - (Baker & Taylor)
The bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun discovers the hidden pleasures of Italy in a sumptuous travel narrative that crisscrosses the country, with inventive new recipes celebrating Italian cuisine.
Don&;t miss Frances Mayes in PBS&;s Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special!
&;Reading this book is a vacation in itself.&;&;The New York Times Book Review (Best Travel Books of the Summer)
The Roman Forum, the Leaning Tower, the Piazza San Marco: these are the sights synonymous with Italy. But such landmarks only scratch the surface of this magical country's offerings. In See You in the Piazza, Frances Mayes introduces us to the Italy only the locals know, as she and her husband, Ed, eat and drink their way through thirteen regions&;from Friuli to Sicily. Along the way, she seeks out the cultural and historic gems not found in traditional guidebooks.
Frances conjures the enchantment of the backstreets, the hubbub of the markets, the dreamlike wonder of that space between lunch and dinner when a city cracks open to those who would wander or when a mind is drawn into the pages of a delicious book&;and discloses to us the secrets that only someone who is on intimate terms with a place could find. - (Random House, Inc.)
The author of Under the Tuscan Sun (1996) reports back on her travels through dozens of little towns in Italy in this encyclopedic volume. Accompanied by her husband, Ed, and sometimes by her precocious grandson, William, or by various friends, Mayes enthusiastically seeks out the highlights of small towns, usually in the off season. She eats and drinks her way through them, mostly with obvious delight, peppered with the occasional sharp word for an inadequate hotel or restaurant. The casually arranged volume, arranged more or less from north to south in Italy, can be overwhelming, consisting as it does of observations on one town or another, most of which include churches worth touring and restaurants serving rich, multicourse meals. It's best sampled town by town, allowing the reader to savor offhand comments, like "You can gauge the wealth of a town by how many shops you see for fancy baby clothes," or descriptions of a waiter aiming "a water pistol at pigeons that encroach on our table." Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.
Italy satiates a couple's wanderlust.Since her bestselling book Under the Tuscan Sun appeared in 1996, poet, novelist, and travel writer Mayes (Women in Sunlight, 2018, etc.) has been testifying to the glories of Italy, a country, she writes in her latest celebration, that offers "an endless surprise." For a year and a half, she and her husband took to the road in search of towns, food, and landscapes exemplary of the nation's rich gifts, joined for part of the trip by their teenage grandson, who was able to find information on the internet and shares his grandparents' tastes. Although Mayes writes that "the most vivid pleasures of Italy are often the simple ones," the hotels, restaurants, and shops that enchant her require a travel budget that points to a particular demographic: sophisticated, well-heeled tourists who share the author's delight in restaurants with "crisp table linens, good cutlery and crystal, understated flowers," a stool for her handbag, and solicitous wai t staff. Throughout their journey, the travelers seek out the gustatory pleasures of regional wines, cheeses, and prosciutto, staying in well-appointed rooms in elegant hotels with picturesque views, where they can sip prosecco on verdant terraces or in a town's lovely peach and ochre piazza. Days are spent browsing (and buying) in "curated shopping streets," taking walks around a lake, reading at poolside, and visiting museums, castles, and churches. Mayes has arranged her memoir geographically from north to south, rather than chronologically, to allow readers to peruse the sections randomly, perhaps using the book as a companion guide to their own trip. Her descriptions are painterly and alluring, and she includes recipes for memorable dishes—grilled prawns with fennel and olives, sea bream poached in special seasoned broth, lemon ricotta tart, gnocchi with wild hare, and crispy octopus—that are likely to whet the prospective traveler's appetite. A charming hom a ge to upscale travel through Italy. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews
The author of the celebrated Under the Tuscan Sun, a New York Times best seller for more than two and a half years, knows that there's more to Italy than the Roman Forum. Here she takes us on a guided tour through all 20 of Italy's regions, Friuli to Calabria, showing us the sights, sounds, and, of course, tastes that often only the locals know. Not just a guidebook.
Copyright 2018 Library Journal.
Library Journal Reviews
Mayes, best known for her lyrical works about Tuscany (Under the Tuscan Sun), divides her time between a farm near Hillsborough, NC, and a home in Cortona, Tuscany. She admits that it would take "ten lifetimes" to know Italy well. This work takes readers along with the author and husband Ed as they travel by car, train, ferry, or foot, to lesser-known village squares where two or more roads meet. At these crossroads, they find a church, market, osteria or trattoria, and perhaps a town hall. Visitors to Italy may appreciate the role of the piazza in Rome, Naples, Venice, Pisa, Florence, and Trieste, for example. Here, we are off the beaten track, soaking in the distinctive sunlight, traditional cuisines, architecture, and geographical features of each area. Mayes celebrates the ethnic, cultural, and culinary differences of picturesque villages in the north, central, south, and island regions of the country, providing delightful trattoria recipes, poetry, and anecdotes. Readers will definitely eat well by staying by her whimsical and conversational side. VERDICT Recommended for those who look for the unexpected when they travel. [See Prepub Alert, 9/24/18.]—Elizabeth Connor, Daniel Lib., The Citadel, Military Coll. of South Carolina, Charleston
Copyright 2018 Library Journal.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun) gives a sparkling and irresistible view of Italy in her eighth book, in which she and her husband explore the country from north to south. Mayes begins in Piedmont and ends in Catania, Sicily. Along the way she treats readers to "oh-pull-over" views, looks inside glorious churches, descriptions of innumerable meals (in Sardegna "the seafood fritto misto comes to us hot and crisp, and the grilled fish under a heap of chopped celery and tomatoes"), and recipes for the dishes they ate (e.g., gnocchi with wild hare from Friuli-Venezia Giulia). Mayes weaves into her narrative historical background (in mid-11th-century Puglia, Frederick II "built castle, mint, treasury and... brought twenty thousand Arab Muslims from Sicily" as troops) and practical travel tips, such as not checking luggage on planes and packing gold-colored sandals (they transform casual to dressy). Mayes has a wonderful eye for detail as she lyrically describes her surroundings, like a river that's "a long skein in the moonlight, as though a woman has unfurled her silvery gray hair." Travel, she explains, provides a chance to see life anew and helps form rich memories. Readers will want to take their time, savoring this poetic travelogue like a smooth wine. (Mar.)
Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.