Cortona and Frances Mayes


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Frances Mayes

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Casa Bramasole, Frances Mayes' house near Cortona

Casa Bramsole Cortona

This is the real "Casa Bramasole", somewhat different from the one shown in the film.
The latter is also located near Cortona and was used for the restoration scenes. It has since
in turn been restored. More about films shot in Tuscany.

Books about life in Tuscany by Frances Mayes

Under the Tuscan Sun

Frances Mayes Under the Tuscan Sun (1996)

This is the memoir of her buying, renovating and living in an abandoned farm house, Casa Bramasole, in Tuscany near Cortona that made Frances Mayes famous and rich enough to move there semi-permanently. If you can stand the style (continuous present tense, gushing) you'll learn a lot about living in rural Italy and a lot about Frances Mayes. I enjoyed the book - it's a lot of fun.

Buy it at Amazon

Bella Tuscany

Frances Mayes Bella Tuscany (1999)

If you enjoyed "Under the Tuscan Sun" you will enjoy this sequel. Frances Mayes continues work on Casa Bramasole and starts renovation of a new property. There are descriptions of more extensive excursions around Italy, including Sicily. There's plenty on cooking, gardens as well as interior decoration.

Buy it at Amazon

In Tuscany

Frances Mayes In Tuscany (2000)

Renovation of Bramasole complete, this new book by Frances Mayes is dominated by the extremely good photographs of Bob Krist, including the house and Cortona. Good commentary, good recipes, relaxed style - armchair traveller fodder at its best.

Buy it at Amazon

Bring Tuscany home

Frances Mayes, Edward Mayes, Steven Rothfeld Bringing Tuscany home. Sensuous Style From the Heart of Italy

Good photography, text mainly for Mayes fans. In addition to recipes, Frances Mayes offers recommendations on where to find good things Tuscan from antiques and furniture to ceramics and textiles. But this is not an interior decoration book (despite the cover design) - it's a continuation of the story of Mayes' love affair with Tuscany.

Buy it from Amazon

Iris Origo

Iris Origo

For insight into the history and character of Italy and the Italian people during both Renaissance times and the 20th century, we strongly recommend the erudite and extremely readable books of Iris Origo who was brought up at Villa Medici at Fiesole and with her husband developed the famous villa and garden of La Foce in the Val d'Orcia.


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