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Top Books about Life in Tuscany

Tuscany Travelogues and Armchair Travel Books


Tuscany, one of the top travel destinations in Italy, is a beautiful and fascinating region. From the hills and mountains in the northern Lunigiana, to the seaside Maremma, Tuscany should be savored slowly. Reading about Tuscany with its wealth of traditions and history is a great pleasure. Enjoy these recommended travelogues and books about Tuscan life or give one as a gift.

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

After an amusing search for a house in Tuscany, Ferenc Mate and his wife finally find the perfect farmhouse outside the hilltown of Montepulciano and begin a new life there. Ferenc's beautiful descriptions of his life, Montepulciano, and the scenery of Tuscany will make you feel like you're there.
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A Thousand Days In Tuscany - A Bittersweet Adventure

Marlena De Blasi and her Venetian husband (whom she met and married in A Thousand Days in Venice) rent a farmhouse in a small Tuscan village and begin a new life there. This is her memoir of their time there, often centered around food. Marlena is a writer of regional Italian cookbooks and this book also includes some Tuscan recipes.
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Turning Tuscan: A Step by Step Guide to Going Native

Sam Hilt gives up a career in California's Silicon Valley and moves to a tiny Tuscany village with his wife and children. This is his story about buying the house and becoming Tuscan. He and his wife now run a tour company.

In Maremma - Life and a House in Southern Tuscany

Tales of restoring an old Tuscan farmhouse in the Maremma region of southern Tuscany, a part of Tuscany often overlooked by tourists.
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A Small Place in Italy

During World War II, travel-writer Eric Newby escaped in the Lunigiana region of northern Tuscany where he is aided by many villagers. Later he and his wife (whom he met during the war) return and buy an old palazzo. This is a humerous tale of fixing up the house and joining into a traditional life style.
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Under the Tuscan Sun

In the most famous of the Tuscany books, American Frances Mayes buys a villa in Tuscany near Cortona and tells about her experiences renovating it. In my opinion, the book is much better than the movie. You might also enjoy the sequel, Bella Tuscany (compare prices).
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Too Much Tuscan Sun

If after reading all these books, you feel like you've had too much of Tuscany, pick up this humorous book written by an Italian who leads tours in Tuscany.
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A Chestnut Barn in Tuscany

In this self-published e-book, Catherine Carabine takes the reader on her journey of buying and restoring a ruin in a small village in eastern Tuscany. The story starts with her first visit to Italy with her boyfriend, their search for a place to live in Tuscany, their wedding in Tuscany, restoration work, and a look at life in a Tuscan village. If you don't have a Kindle, you can download the book from Autharium by searching for Catherine Carabine in the author section.

A Tuscan Childhood

Kinta Beevor's memoirs about her childhood spent in a castle in the Lunigiana region of northern Tuscany, another part of Tuscany often overlooked by tourists. The book gives you an insight into life in the early 1900s and takes you through World War II.
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War in the Val D'Orcia

Iris Origo's heartwarming story of her days during World War II protecting children and refugees and hiding prisoners on her estate in the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany.
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Vanilla Beans and Brodo - Real Life in the Hills of Tuscany

Isabella Dusi, an Australian, comes to live in the medieval village of Montalcino for a year. Her book details the daily events of village life and the traditions and history of Montalcino and Tuscany. This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the Tuscan way of life but can be difficult to find.

Somewhere South of Tuscany

If you've read enough Tuscany books and want to move on to some place less known but still interesting, try Somewhere South of Tuscany. In this fun book Diana Armstrong, a food and travel writer, relates her experiences with buying and renovating a house in a small town in northern Lazio, the area south of Tuscany and north of Rome.
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