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.
  • 01 of 12
    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.
  • 02 of 12
    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.
  • 03 of 12
    In Hidden Tuscany: Discovering Art, Culture, and Memories in a Well-Known Region's Unknown Places, Travel writer John Keahey spends 6 months in the northwestern Tuscany town of Pietrasanta, using it as a base and taking short trips to smaller towns off the usual Tuscany tourist path. It's an enjoyable and interesting look at some of the small towns on the western coast and a short distance inland.

     

  • 04 of 12
    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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  • 05 of 12
    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.
  • 06 of 12

    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. Also available for Kindle.

  • 07 of 12

    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. Also available for Kindle.

    You might also enjoy the sequel, Bella Tuscany (buy on Amazon).

  • 08 of 12

    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. La Foce, her estate, has nice gardens that are open to the public for tours and guest apartments.

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  • 09 of 12

    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.

  • 10 of 12

    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.

  • 11 of 12

    Jennifer Criswell shares her adventures in making the move from New York to Tuscany, not as easy as she was expecting.

     

  • 12 of 12
    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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