Tuscany in Fiction

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tuscany’s stunning scenery, quaint towns, and traditional Tuscany villas have long captured the imagination of fiction writers, with the Southern Italian region serving as a backdrop for an increasing number of literary releases. The trend went so far as to generate a brief “craze” for the genre, after the movie adaptation of ‘Under a Tuscan Sun’ hit theatres a few years ago.

With all this literary wealth, it stands to reason that tourists renting Tuscany villas will want to take a book about the region along with them. Fortunately for them, the selection is vast, stretching from the classics to lesser-known works of fiction, and even the odd non-fiction book. Below are some suggestions for Summery Tuscan reading.

Starting with the big one itself, ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ has fuelled many a dream revolving around the restoration of run-down Tuscany villas. For that is exactly what the heroine does, with stunning results, in this modern-day romance. The book has been so successful that it has spawned a sequel, ‘Bella Tuscany’, and a slew of books with ‘Tuscan Sun’ in their title. Of these, the most interesting is probably the nonfiction ‘Burnt By the Tuscan Sun’, a ‘traveller’s guide’ to Italy from the perspective of a local, in this case blogger Francesca Maggi. ‘Too Much Tuscan Sun’ – a humorous book written by a local tour guide – is another good call, provided you are capable of laughing at your touristy self.

A Thousand Days In Tuscany - A Bittersweet Adventure’, the sequel to ‘A Thousand Days In Venice’; ‘A Small Place In  Italy’; or ‘Vanilla Beans and Brodo - Real Life in the Hills of Tuscany’ (a nonfiction about life in Montalcino written by a relocated Australian) are other interesting Tuscany-centric reads. Don’t forget to pack one or two in your bag before leaving!

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