|Piazza della Republica|
Leaving the Paris of Balzac and the farmyard of E.B. White and moving on to the sunny climes of Italy. I am probably the last person on earth to read Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. I haven't even seen the movie. But, I have been to Cortona, the hill town that Mayes falls in love with, where she buys Bramasole, a rundown farmhouse, (aren't they all? Where would be a story if the house was ready to move into?), and begins to tell her tale.
I bought the book about a year ago, but had not even opened it to page one. About three months ago I bought the sequel - Everyday in Tuscany - and upon reading the back cover of that learned that there is a previous sequel - Bella Tuscany. So I have the first and the third. Guess I am going to be looking for that second book (even though it got pretty rotten reviews on Amazon).
I remember Cortona well because you park your car and take an escalator to the top of the town to the Piazza della Republica. That was a first. This is where I had a much deserved cappucino, served in a blue and white cup and saucer, after a tour of the Etruscan Academy Museum with all its lovelies.
After reading only one chapter of Mayes's book yesterday, I had to hurry to the kitchen to saute garlic and onions in olive oil, put the pasta on to boil, and then load the mound with cooked spinach and cheese. Molto buona for sure.