Tuscan Echoes: A Season in Italy

Mark Gordon Smith

Published by Almar Books
ISBN 10: 0974098302 / ISBN 13: 9780974098302
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Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; Possibly may have minor marginal notes and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: If you could leave behind the life you know to pursue your ultimate dream, would you do it? If you could return to the one place in which you found true inspiration, what do you think you would find there? When Mark G. Smith decided to leave a successful business career to pursue his writing, he did something that many dream of, but few have the courage to try. When he left his life as a corporate businessman to live in Italy for sixteen weeks, he made a reality out of what most would consider pure fantasy. His summer-long sojourn through the most beautiful parts of the Florentine and Venetian countryside gave birth to one of the most unconventional travel memoirs of the season.

His account of that magical trip, Tuscan Echoes: A Season in Italy, is part memoir, part philosophical exploration: It is an eclectic series of musings on an ancient country, an earthy tribute to sensual pleasures. In a series of short vignettes the author explores the Italy he knew as a child. Older now, but not necessarily wiser, the author visits and re-visits some of the country’s most famous attractions, but finds himself continually sidetracked by the odd, the unusual, the quintessentially Italian. This is a memoir of travels down side streets, of visits to small churches tucked away in hidden neighborhoods, of meals taken at family trattorias.

In a time when "extreme" seems to be the watchword for travel literature, when every memoir seems to be an account of a death-defying ascent of a dangerous mountain, or a dangerous voyage across an open sea, there is something quietly beautiful and approachable about Tuscan Echoes. Mark Smith is a traveler not unlike you and me—a man enraptured by the beauty of a lovely country and filled with an innocent wonder for everything he experiences.

Many of us may never have the courage that Mark found to quit the rat race and go in search of a more meaningful life. But in Tuscan Echoes readers can at least find a glimpse of the rewards of taking that leap. They can bask in Italy’s sun-drenched images and at least pretend—in time honored, arm-chair traveler fashion—that they are sitting with him, sipping the local wines and watching the world go by.

Truly a must read for anyone enraptured by Italy, either as an armchair traveler, or as a seasoned traveler.

From the Publisher: Mark G. Smith knew he was taking a risk when he decided to leave behind a successful business career to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a writer. For eighteen years, Smith worked as human resources professional in the dog-eat-dog world of corporate America. When the companies he worked for experienced financial downturns, he knew the time was right. "I left the corporate world after two companies I worked for went bankrupt. The experience led me to believe that the time had come to pursue a dream that I have had all of my adult life—to write. The timing seemed appropriate as well. A move was in the works, and that move would take me to a new city with no corporate connections, somewhere I could have a place to reflect and create," Smith says. In 2001, an opportunity to live in Italy for an entire season, and to take part in a two-week writing workshop in Italy, confirmed his decision. Tuscan Echoes: A Season in Italy is the result of his memorable trip—and it's obvious Smith's gamble paid off.

An unconventional travel memoir, Tuscan Echoes employs a series of short vignettes that take the reader along with Smith as he moves from Florence to Assisi, Pisa to Venice, and everywhere in between. Making stops at some of Italy's most famous attractions, Smith describes what he sees with a poetic eye, and even as he explores the lesser-known side streets he paints vivid portraits that reveal Italy's particular emphasis on family and spiritual life. The result is a celebration of the very things Smith found lacking in his role as corporate businessman. As the season progresses, he becomes more and more submerged in the daily life of Italy, and slowly, he comes to realize some things about his own life. "The realization that the trip was having a profound affect on me did not occur until about half way through the season. I began to feel more comfortable in silence, more aware of sounds and tastes and flavors; more so than at any other time in my life. The journey became richer, more profound, because of that awareness." Tuscan Echoes is a strikingly intimate portal into Italy, one that armchair travelers will appreciate for its unique approach and sensual descriptions.

Mark G. Smith has lived the life of a world traveler from the time he was born. His father was a career military officer and Mark moved eight times before graduating from high school. His family lived in Italy, near Florence, for two years during his childhood, and it was at this early age that he began his love affair with all things Italian. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mark served for five years as a military officer. When he left the service, he worked as a human resources professional, finishing his corporate career as a consultant. For over thirty years, Mark has continued his travels across Europe and the world. He began work on Tuscan Echoes, his first book, shortly after his decision to focus on writing full-time.

We believe this to be one of the most unique, descriptive, and sensual travel memoirs yet written about a place so beloved by travelers, and readers, everywhere.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Bibliographic Details

Title: Tuscan Echoes: A Season in Italy
Publisher: Almar Books
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: GOOD

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