As seductive as A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, but with the wit and charm of a 1930s romantic comedy, the true-life adventure of a couple who chucked New York for a new life in Tuscany.The Máté's arrived in Tuscany in the late 1980s knowing no Italian and with only four weeks to search for the country house of their dreams. On their last night there, after having been chased by wild boars and befriended by a country realtor who also sells pigs and coffins, they finally concluded the deal on the hood of a rusting tractor with the lawyer speaking Italian and them responding in French, English, and Hungarian, in a Tower of Babel version of "Who's on First?" So begins Ferenc Máté's endearing, in-love-with-life memoir of their first five years in Tuscany, by turns buoyant, reflective, and laugh-out-loud hilarious. His engaging, often poetic prose describes the way of life they were looking for and found-where neighbors, community, home, and, most of all, children, form the focal point of daily life. They live in a small thirteenth-century monastery, surrounded by their vineyards and olive groves, in the spectacular hills near Siena, a few miles from where The English Patient was filmed. The Hills of Tuscany--steeped in mesmerizing scenery and wonderful medieval towns, full of unforgettably delightful characters and spectacular food and wine-nourishes body, mind, and soul. If you're not passionately in love with life at the moment, you'll be hopelessly so by the time you turn the last page. Illustrated
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A sensuous valentine to author Ferenc Máté's adopted homeland, The Hills of Tuscany brims with lush descriptions of golden dales, scrumptious meals, rich wines, and friendly natives. After years of nomadic roaming from Central America to Canada, Máté (a writer) and his wife, Candace (a painter), visit Tuscany and impulsively decide that this is where they will settle down. A year later they return and begin the hunt for their dream house. As the likeable Mátés (they're funny and suitably grateful for the chance to live in one of the world's garden spots) troll the countryside with a series of colorful Tuscan middlemen, it's impossible not to become emotionally involved in their quest. And when they finally discover the perfect abode-- La Marinaia, a tastefully renovated stone farmhouse set amid scenery that Ferenc describes as "like being in the middle of a painting"--you're thrilled right along with them. Subsequent chapters follow the Mátés' growing friendship with their neighbors, who not only help rototill the garden but also reveal where to find porcini mushrooms and truffles in the nearby woods. All in all, reading The Hills of Tuscany is the next best thing to quitting your job, climbing on a plane, and finding your own Tuscan dream house. --Rebecca GleasonAbout the Author:
Ferenc Máté is the author of 15 books translated into 12 languages, including New York Times Notable Book A Vineyard in Tuscany and the Dugger/Nello historical sea adventure fiction series. He lives in a 13-century friary with his family tending vines and olives in Tuscany. Visit www.ferencmate.com
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