In Maremma

In Maremma

Life And A House In Southern Tuscany

Book - 2001
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In 1997 David Leavitt and Mark Mitchell bought a house in southern Tuscany: not a villa but a dilapidated farmhouse dating from the late 1950s and abandoned for more than twenty years. In Maremma recounts their restoration of the house, as well as the gradual process by which two Americans became initiated into a part of Italy -- and a part of Italian life -- that foreigners rarely see.

Although the Maremma has always been the poorest province of Tuscany, it is also its loveliest and least spoiled: a patchwork of hills, mountains, and seascapes populated by butteri (Italian cowboys), wild boar, and farmers with extraordinary Magna Graecia names: Teracles, Omero, Ulisse. The authors render all this vividly, and also give us a disquisition on how to prepare acqua cotta ("cooked water", the typical soup of the area) and a hilarious account of applying for an Italian driver's license. The pleasures of the olive harvest, of picking wild asparagus and of hunting for old furniture, are juxtaposed with the vagaries of political corruption and self-perpetuating bureaucracy; landscape and weather provide the stuff of reverie, as do the benefits of boredom, the longing for peanut butter, and the generosity of the authors' Maremman neighbors. At once a celebration and an exploration of a little-known part of rural Italy, In Maremma is also a fond if sometimes critical corrective to more rapturous portrayals of Tuscany: this is Tuscany as seen from the inside.

Publisher: Wash., D.C. : Counterpoint, 2001.
ISBN: 9781582430614
Characteristics: 140 p. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Mitchell, Mark (Mark Lindsey)


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