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Somewhere South of Tuscany: 5 Years In a Four-Cat Town Paperback – March 19, 2010

27 customer reviews

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Somewhere South of Tuscany: 5 Years In a Four-Cat Town + At Least You're in Tuscany + Not in a Tuscan Villa: During a year in Italy, a New Jersey couple discovers the true Dolce Vita when they trade rose-colored glasses for 3Ds
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Diana G Armstrong (B.A., M.A.) is a food and travel writer and cookbook author. She writes articles for magazines such as Gourmet Magazine. Her previous book Cooking for My Friends is available on Amazon.com. Born and raised in South Africa, she now lives in Denver, Colorado. She maintains a second home in Italy, which enables her to indulge her particular love of the life, food and people of rural Italy.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (March 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439266212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439266212
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you love Italy, this is not to be missed. I loved what some other reviewer disliked about this book; it is chapter after chapter of the good life in Italy. There are things to learn, characters to meet, and food and wine to wish for. Thank goodness, she includes many, many recipes. I take cooking classes every chance I get when in Italy, and this is a class in itself! I just wish I were one of her many visiting friends! I am so sorry that I have finished this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Davis on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't miss this wonderful read that will make you laugh and cry as you follow the author's inexhaustible and often hilarious efforts to create a life in a small Italian village. As the author describes her navigation through the intricacies and vagaries of local law, customs, language and cooking, you get a strong sense of both her indomitable spirit and her open heart as she embraces all things Italian. The format of short stories makes it a quick, fun read and the clever way of introducing local foods first by describing the social occasion for which they are prepared and then including the full recipe at the end will have you longing to invite friends to share a meal. Maybe this book should come with a warning. After reading, you may feel an irresistible need to visit international airline websites and/or your closest Italian grocer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Italian Dreamer on August 31, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Too many recipes and not enogh story line. It's a good book but not a great book. Having lived in Rome for eight years, I really pay attention to what others who have lived in the country of my heart write. I would have loved for Ms. Armstrong to have left out half the recipes and contributed more to the story line.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By allicat on March 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I recently bought this book, one of many travel inspired books for my collection. I feel like I am there with Diana and her family, she writes clearly and succinctly and the story entwines her own unique travel story, with wonderful recipes, delightful characters she meets along the way, and you feel like you are there with her.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Fabio, Bleeding Espresso on October 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Somewhere South of Tuscany: Five Years in a Four Cat Town by Diana Armstrong is a fun, engaging read about a couple's efforts to restore a house in rural central Italy and fit into village life after Armstrong and her husband buy an ancient property -- sight once seen.

Armstrong does a wonderful job of painting the picture of Lubriano from the neighbors to the festivals, including La Infiorata when the village's only street is spectacularly covered in flowers. Her descriptions of the food she prepares are a particular highlight, and Armstrong even treats readers to an impressive collection of recipes (nearly 100 pages) at the end of the book.

Although I would have liked Armstrong to delve a bit deeper into the emotions of adjusting to a new life in Italy, the lack of more introspection didn't take much away from my overall enjoyment of the book. It did start off a bit slowly for me, but about fifty pages in I was hooked and looking forward to my nightly visits with Armstrong in Lubriano.

In fact, I was a bit sad for the tale to end, thus the four stars.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy reading about daily Italian life, renovating a house in the Italian countryside, and/or cooking traditional Tuscan and Umbrian dishes, and also to anyone who simply likes getting wrapped up in Italian adventures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barbara L. Welte on November 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The personal account of their experiences buying a home in a foreign country spoke to my adventurous spirit. I loved her experiences with the locals. Very old world....and the food was so interesting. A must read for anyone that loves cooking and traveling.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Sileo on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Diana Armstrong has a lyrical way with words that quickly carried me into the life of a small hilltop town in Italy. Brava!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hawkwoman on March 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a delightful read. As a wanna-be-Italian this fed my memories of my visits to Italy with a reason to go back once again. Two of the recipes (easy-to-follow) have already been tested and approved by my family. It will have a place on my Italian cookbook shelf.
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