The Hills of Tuscany: A New Life in an Old Land by Ferenc Mate

The Hills of Tuscany: A New Life in an Old Land

Ferenc Mate
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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 Gleason"