Italy

Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades, and Apulia

By Patience Gray

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"Honey from a Weed is a Mediterranean odyssey. Patience Gray, who has lived and traveled widely in the region's countryside for over twenty-five years, brings to life its people, their culture, and most of all their rustic cooking, with sumptuous prose and reverence."

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The Miracles of Santo Fico

By D. L. Smith

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"A magical story of love...and miracles After twenty years, Leo Pizzola has come back to the Tuscan village of Santo Fico, still single and still looking for a way to get rich. The town is as poor as it was when Leo left, yet some things have changed. Of Leo's childhood companions, only little Guido, whom everyone calls "Topo," embraces him. His best friend is long dead. The woman he once adored refuses to talk to him. And, worst of all, the kindly old town priest seems to have lost his faith. Perhaps what Santo Fico needs is a miracle-even if Leo and Topo have to manufacture one themselves. Now, as one botched scheme after another unravels, something completely unexpected happens, and wonders indeed begin to transform this Italian town, including the greatest miracle of all... ."

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Tuscany: Inside the Light

By Joel Meyerowitz

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This evocative collection of images and commentary takes readers on a breathtaking journey through the four seasons in Tuscany. with one gatefold.

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Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life

By Frances Mayes

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Frances Mayes offers her readers a deeply personal memoir of her present-day life in Tuscany, encompassing both the changes she has experienced since Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany appeared, and sensuous, evocative reflections on the timeless beauty and vivid pleasures of Italian life. Among the themes Mayes explores are how her experience of Tuscany dramatically expanded when she renovated and became a part-time resident of a 13th-century house with a stone roof in the mountains above Cortona, how life in the mountains introduced her to a "wilder" side of Tuscany--and with it a lively engagement with Tuscany's mountain people. Throughout, she reveals the concrete joys of life in her adopted hill town, with particular attention to life in the piazza, the art of Luca Signorelli (Renaissance painter from Cortona), and the pastoral pleasures of feasting from her garden.

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A Small Place in Italy

By Eric Newby

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Another couple restoring an old house in Italy. As Eric Newby and his wife, Wanda, restore a run-down Tuscan farmhouse, his account builds into a vivid portrait of rural Italy and its people, lovingly evoking the rhythms and rituals of country life.

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The English Patient

By Michael Ondaatje

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With unsettling beauty and intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an abandoned Italian villa at the end of World War II. The nurse Hana, exhausted by death, obsessively tends to her last surviving patient. Caravaggio, the thief, tries to reimagine who he is, now that his hands are hopelessly maimed. The Indian sapper Kip searches for hidden bombs in a landscape where nothing is safe but himself. And at the center of his labyrinth lies the English patient, nameless and hideously burned, a man who is both a riddle and a provocation to his companions—and whose memories of suffering, rescue, and betrayal illuminate this book like flashes of heat lightning. (Catalog summary)
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Stolen Figs, and Other Adventures in Calabria

By Mark Rotella

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"Calabria is the toe of the boot that is Italy--a rugged peninsula where grapevines and fig and olive trees cling to the mountainsides during the scorching summers while the sea crashes against the cliffs on both coasts. Calabria is also a seedbed of Italian American culture; in North America, more people of Italian heritage trace their roots to Calabria than to almost any other region in Italy. Mark Rotella's Stolen Figs is a marvelous evocation of Calabria and Calabrians, whose way of life is largely untouched by the commerce that has made Tuscany and Umbria into international tourist redoubts."
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Seasons in Basilicata: A Year in a Southern Italian Hill Village

By David Yeadon

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A year in the life of a remote southern Italian hill town, rich with local characters and strange, pagan-laced customs -- a place very different from the more gentrified northern Italy of Tuscany and Umbria. Award-winning travel writer and illustrator David Yeadon embarks with his wife, Anne, on an exploration of the wild, mountainous "lost world" of Basilicata, in the arch of Italy's boot. What is intended as a brief sojourn turns into a much longer and far more intriguing residency across the seasons.
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Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind

By Charles Nicholl

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"For five centuries, Leonardo da Vinci has stood alone as the quintessential Renaissance man-—the incomparable artist, writer, thinker, and inventor who most powerfully transformed his world. In this dazzling new intimate biography, award-winning author Charles Nicholl creates a portrait of the artist for our time-—a biography that brings Leonardo to life as a complex man living in a fascinating, dangerous, quickly changing world.Drawing freely on his own original translations of Leonardo’s notebooks as well as newly discovered contemporary accounts,

"Nicholl captures the very texture of Leonardo’s mind and the pungent visceral impressions he transmuted into art. Detail by brilliant detail, Nicholl reconstructs the life and times of the artist, from his troubled childhood as the illegitimate son of an established Tuscan family to his years of apprenticeship in the burgeoning art world of Medici Florence to his unrivaled achievements in a breathtaking array of disciplines and media."

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Ghosts of Vesuvius: A New Look at the Last Days of Pompeii, How Towers Fall, and Other Strange Connections

By Charles R. Pellegrino

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"The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 and the subsequent destruction of the thriving Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum are historic disasters of monumental proportions, resonating across millennia and remembered to this very day. Now Dr. Charles Pellegrino -- the acclaimed author who unearthed Atlantis, returned readers to Sodom and Gomorrah, and revealed startling new secrets about the most fabled sea tragedy of all in his superb New York Times bestseller Her Name, Titanic -- takes us back to the final days of an extraordinary civilization to experience an earth-shattering catastrophe with remarkable and unsettling ties to the unthinkable disaster of September 11, 2001.

"Through the modern wonders of forensic archaeology, astonishing facts about the everyday lives of the doomed citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum have been brought to light, revealing a society that enjoyed "modern" amenities such as central heating, sliding glass doors, penicillin, hot and cold running water -- and a standard of living and life expectancy that would not be achieved again until the 1950s. But these thriving twin cities would be buried along with every hapless citizen in less than twenty-four hours when Vesuvius came frighteningly alive, sending a fearsome column of smoke and fire twenty miles into the sky.

"Employing volcano physics, Pellegrino shows that the Vesuvius eruption was one thousand times more powerful than the bomb that leveled Hiroshima, bringing to vivid life the frightful majesty of that volcanic apocalypse. Yet Pellegrino digs deeper, exploring fascinating comparisons and connections to other catastrophic events throughout history, in particular the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. As one of the world's only experts on downblast and surge physics, Pellegrino was invited to Ground Zero to examine the site and compare it with devastation wreaked by Vesuvius, in the hope of saving lives during future volcanic eruptions. In doing so, he offers us a poignant and unforgettable glimpse into the final moments of our own 'American Vesuvius.'"

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