The Hills of Tuscany

The Hills of Tuscany

Ferenc Mate

Pub date
B Format 129x198mm
256 pages
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Book Overview

A mouth-wateringly evocative memoir of a new life in Tuscany.

Ferenc Mate and his painter wife Candace arrived from New York in the late 1980s, knowing almost no Italian and with only four weeks to find themselves a new home. After many (hilariously told) mishaps, they finally conclude the deal for their perfect house – an ancient farmhouse in the Tuscan hills – by drawing on the hood of a rusty tractor. Mate brings the real Tuscany to life: the neighbours, the countryside, country-life, the family farm down the road who virtually adopt them and teach them the Tuscan traditions of grape-picking, wine-making, mushroom hunting, woodcutting, the holidays and, of course, the almost never-ending, mouth-watering feasts.

The Hills of Tuscany is a classic piece of rural escapism for urban dreamers. Witty and enticingly written, it offers a tempting invitation to readers to lose themselves in its lushness. Steeped in the mesmerizing Italian landscape, full of unforgettable characters, this book is an affirmation of traditions, friendship and the countryside – a celebration of life itself.

About the author

Ferenc Mate was born in Transylvania, escaped to Hungary, later escaped to Austria, and ended up in America. He has worked as carpenter, boatbuilder, member of a railroad extra-gang, and as a deck-hand on tugboats. His many books include Autumn and A Reasonable Life. He lives with his wife and young son, tending his olives and vineyard, in the hills of Tuscany.


  • ‘After reading this, I feel the glow of those burnt-umber fields, the taste of the wine, the food. more importantly, I feel the generosity of the people. This memoir is an Italophile’s dream, the book of a luminous dream come true.’Jay Parini