Under the Tuscan Sun [Book Review]

An Italian Memoire by Frances Mayes

If you’ve seen the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, you’ll know that recently divorced, middle-aged Frances Mayes meets Marcello, a handsome Italian who takes her from a villa in Tuscany to Positano on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. They eat with his family on the beach, drink homemade limoncello, and have a short-lived love affair. (I’ll leave it at that to avoid a spoiler!)

Travel Italy Amalfi Coast Positano Limoncello

Under the Tuscan Sun

Having seen the movie many times–it’s one of my favorites–of course I had to make a pilgrimage to Cortona, where the main character, Frances, impulsively bought a villa and Positano where she traveled with Marcello.

Related Article: Breakfast in Positano, Italy

While I explored Cortona, I understood why Frances left her dismal life behind to begin anew in this ancient Tuscan village. Isn’t it beautiful?!

Tuscan Countryside | Cortona | Italy

The same was true of Positano. As I walked the beach and listened to the Tyrrhenian Sea roar, I imagined the scene where Frances and Marcello walked along together, flirting with the future.

Later, ascending the streets of Positano perched high upon the hills, I kept an eye on the balconies above for a handsome Italian man to call down to me…

Balcony | Bramasole | Cortona | Italy

No such luck, but I remained enchanted by my surroundings.

[bctt tweet=”I kept an eye on the balconies above for a handsome Italian man to call down to me…” username=”enjoytravellif1″]

An avid literary fan, I decided to read the book that inspired the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun by (the real) Frances Mayes.

Under the Tuscan Sun Frances Mayes

Under the Tuscan Sun, Book vs. Movie

It surprised me to discover how different the plot of the book was from the movie I so loved!

Once I got past that little disappointment, I embraced romantic descriptions of the Tuscan countryside and the story of Frances Mayes’ journey.

It is a love story of a different kind. Still, it’s easy to understand how Mayes’ descriptions of Tuscany, Italian culture, and some quirky characters inspired my favorite movie.

Mayes is a master at articulating the richness of the Italian countryside. While reading, you may even feel transported to Italy, as I did.

p.s. Check out photos from my Tuscan Pilgrimage to Cortona or read Breakfast in Positano.

Did you read Under the Tuscan Sun?  Let me know your thoughts on it as compared to the movie or to Tuscany in the comments below.

More great books by Frances Mayes:


Under the Tuscan Sun Book Review

When to Visit 36 Dreamy Destinations

You will instantly receive the FREE Month-by-Month Destination Guide

No worries, we won't spam you. Unsubscribe at any time you want. Powered by ConvertKit

Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

5 thoughts on “Under the Tuscan Sun [Book Review]

  • May 27, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Hey, Great job, Jackie. I really love this post and it’s the first time I am here on your blog–and really love reading here. Thanks, good work, keep it up!

  • February 21, 2020 at 8:51 am

    very nice publish, I actually love this web site. Keep on it!

  • April 25, 2018 at 12:44 am

    Good sound about Tuscan Sun. Villa Laura, located in Cortona Tuscany, The villa used in Under the Tuscan Sun – Bramasole. Villa Laura is a beautifully restored 17th century estate just outside the walls of Cortona, Tuscany available for weekly rental throughout the year.

Comments are closed.