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Traveling with the mind: 4 unusual books set in Tuscany

To continue our literary advice started in this article, the ones we are going to propose today are not the classic stories with a happy ending set in Tuscany. There are 4 unusual titles, to travel with the mind, between city and countryside in different eras; from the Middle Ages, to the postwar period, up to the present day.

“Not in a Tuscan Villa” by John and Nancy Petralla - memories


If you are looking for a real, non-fictional travel story, this is a must-read book. John and Nancy Petralia live in New Jersey and one day they decide to make their lifelong dream come true: leave for Italy and Tuscany, where they will live for a year, hoping to try an experience like "Under the Tuscan sun". However, nothing goes as expected, the couple find themselves facing many difficulties and challenges, which will force them to leave their “comfort zone”. From this experience they will learn more than they could ever have believed; not only about Italy, but also about their lives and about really important things. It is an authentic and sincere adventure, where the protagonists discover the true roots of Italian culture, between art, food and friendships.

"The Towers of Tuscany" by Carol M. Cram - novel


An ideal book for lovers of medieval art and architecture. Set in medieval Tuscany, it tells the story of Sofia, Barducci, an uncommon painter and woman for the time she lives in, who fights to assert her freedom and her passions, often making mistakes, transporting the reader between a San Gimignano is a lively and vibrant 14th-century Siena. This book really highlights a Tuscany just before the Renaissance period in Italy. It offers splendid descriptions of the area and takes us back in time to when its natural liveliness was a delight for artists.

"Fausto and Anna" by Carlo Cassola - historical novel


For lovers of period novels, this masterpiece is set during the period of the Second World War in the wonderful landscapes of Volterra and the Tuscan Maremma, and is the story of a tormented love story between two young people, Fausto and Anna. A comparison between ideals and reality seen through the eyes of these two adolescent and loving boys. They get lost and find themselves years later, adults and with completely different experiences; he a partisan of the Resistance disillusioned with the communist ideal, she a more pragmatic and realistic wife and mother.

“With closed eyes” by Federigo Tozzi - novel


Set in Siena and in the Chianti countryside, it is the largely autobiographical story of a fragile and dreamy adolescent, Pietro Rosi, in love with Ghisola, a young peasant woman. Peter faces his life and his feelings, however, "with his eyes closed", as if to defend himself from the anxieties, torments and disappointments that life reserves for him. A difficult relationship with his father and the love for Ghisola that never really manages to find satisfaction.

Traveling with the mind: 4 unusual books set in Tuscany

What do you think of these unusual books set in Tuscany?

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