Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I was over at my sister's house recently, and while she and my nephew were taking a nap (11-month-olds will wear you--and themselves--out) I picked up a book she had checked out from the library, opened to the middle, and began reading bits of it.

Before you know it I had reached the end, and so I snapped it shut, opened to the beginning and began reading once again!  At that point my sis and her son awoke from their slumber, and I let her know I was really enjoying the memoir, which is entitled, The Hills of Tuscany, by Ferenc Máté.

She said I was welcome to take it home with me so I could finish reading it, and I decided to do just that!

This book is full of vivid decriptions of nature and scenery, charming anecdotes, and mouth-watering mentions of delicious food.  Reading it was like taking a mini vacation to a faraway place.

It was an exciting adventure to travel along with the author and his wife as they searched for the home of their dreams...

And finally found it!

From watching an outdoor movie at cinema sotto le stelle (cinema under the stars), which was screened on the courtyard wall of a monastery's library, to adventures in the outdoors involving edibles such as chestnuts and pine nuts, Ferenc and Candace really experienced Italy in many different ways.

There are charming descriptions of the people they met along the way, including a pizzaiolo who wore patent leather shoes; a man whom they observed belting out 'O sole mio in defiant response to a very stressful situation; and kind neighbors who gifted them with homemade culinary delights such as jam, sausages, and cheese.

One comical anecdote involved a man who was reading a pink--yes, I said pink--Italian newspaper.  Well, this I had to see, so I googled away.  The author got the name of the paper wrong in the book; it's called "La Gazzetta dello Sport".  It was first published in 1896, and three years later that lovely shade of pink debuted.

Here are some insta's of this pretty-colored publication...








It would appear people enjoy using the paper for more than reading.  Here are some shots of creative ways it's being used...







A shot from an editorial in Let's Panic magazine...



The book contains a comical description of the way Italy tends to work in terms of bureaucracy and red tape (dubbed "the flexible impossible"), along with a bit of history (some of which is very tragic).  

I think its various facets come together to form a very likeable whole.  It's definitely a tome I would heartily recommend, especially to armchair travelers such as myself ☺.

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