See You in the Piazza:
New Places to Discover in Italy
Written by: Frances Mayes
Read by: Cassandra Campbell & Frances Mayes
14 Hours and 53 Minutes
PRHA | Imprint: Random House Audio
Genre: Travel – Europe – Italy
Release Date: March 12, 2019
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader’s copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Bestselling and beloved author Frances Mayes discovers the hidden pleasures of Italy in a sumptuous travel narrative that crisscrosses the country, with inventive new recipes celebrating Italian cuisine
The Roman Forum, the Leaning Tower, the Piazza San Marco: these are the sights synonymous with Italy. But such landmarks only scratch the surface of this magical country’s offerings. In See You in the Piazza, Frances Mayes introduces us to the Italy only the locals know, as she and her husband, Ed, eat and drink their way through thirteen regions–from Friuli to Sicily. Along the way, she seeks out the cultural and historic gems not found in traditional guidebooks.
Frances conjures the enchantment of the backstreets, the hubbub of the markets, the dreamlike wonder of that space between lunch and dinner when a city cracks open to those who would wander or when a mind is drawn into the pages of a delicious book–and discloses to us the secrets that only someone who is on intimate terms with a place could find.
Includes a bonus PDF of recipes. https://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/546992/see-you-in-the-piazza/
Cassandra Campbell’s soft, pleasant voice is perfect for voicing this travel/food/Italy book. She is pleasant to listen to, and I thought the book had made her as hungry and desperate to get back to Italy as I became while listening.
I loved listening to Frances Mayes travel stories as she, her husband, and a few others travel through Italy, usually at least partly in a car. I wish that I had as good an understanding of the people and the language. It would also be great to be one of those people who can chat with and get to know people instantly.
Some of the most enjoyable parts of the book included their grandson who has the makings of a top-notch epicure. I am used to teens who have a variety of dietary limitations from preferences to allergies; but this kid engaged in eating all kinds of things: organ meats and sea creatures I would never try. And, of course, as a celiac, I can’t consume any of the regular pasta or breads that make Italy among the most delicious.
Mayes’s travels take the family from the top of Italy to the bottom, and to small, out of the way places, including the town where my Italian relatives live. It’s a brief stop but I was thrilled for the spot I consider my Italian hometown. Mayes’s writing is deeply personal and she finds the positive in nearly any situation, except when a agriturismo (a farm-based B&B) fails to heat their room. I’ve stayed in places like that and it’s miserable. She also won my heart by trying to rescue some barn cats she came across at an agriturismo.
The descriptions and stories extend beyond food to the places, their people, and even a little shopping. It’s a delightful way to prepare for your own exploration of one of the world’s most historic, beautiful and delicious locations on this world, and probably many others. As I listened to SEE YOU IN THE PIAZZA, I constantly felt the desire to drag out my best Italian cookbooks and/or jump on a plane to Italy.
It’s been a couple of dangerous weeks for my waistline as I’ve read two other food books in the past three weeks; I’ll be featuring PANE, PASTA & VINO by Matt Goulding, and Ruth Reichl’s SAVE ME THE PLUMS this week.