Please login to vote.
Thursday, 28 October 2010

Somewhere South of Tuscany


TuscanySomewhere South of Tuscany, by Diana Armstrong, is the story of an American buying a home in Lubriano— a small Italian village near Umbria; and restoring the house while being slowly integrated into the community.


Armstrong and her husband rented houses in the area for several years before deciding to take the plunge into homeownership when they found a place with a stunning view. In buying a place from a local baroness, they were surprised when she stripped the house of everything before they closed on the sale. Restoration was quite a process involving learning to understand the Italian way of doing things and making many discoveries such as finding a well inside one of their walls.


Armstrong is a chef and includes many recipes— from classics to her own creations. Though rambling at times, this book is often funny, with likeable personas who are just as concerned with having a good meal as creating a home. They seem to be practicing the art of “La Dolce Vita.”


The picture she paints of her life in the local village is where the book inspires. She visits the local butcher, markets, and wineries for the ingredients of the many recipes she showcases. From traditional peasant dishes cooked in the dying embers of a fire, to carefully explained recipes from her neighbors, to her own creations, there are plenty of recipes to keep you busy. The question remains whether the recipes could possibly taste as good outside of Italy with its emphasis on the freshness and quality of ingredients. In one exchange with a neighbor, she learns why no one seems to patronize one of the two butcher’s shops in town—because they are suspected of getting meat from a wholesaler (gasp!).


This book would be a good read for anyone planning to purchase and restore a house in Italy and offers some classic Italian recipes to boot.



Somewhere South of Tuscany, Diana Armstrong, 2010



©Christina K Bolton

Published in ink

Our village in Italy is called Lubriano. It is a "pass by" village. Tourists traveling to the famous hill-top town of Civita di Bagnoregio (called the "Dying Town" as it is collapsing into the Calanchi Valley below) stop at the edge of our village to gaze across towards their stunning destination no more than one mile away.  Truth is, this medieval wonder of a town is also our view.

Published in interchange

Gloria, our housekeeper, appears on my back door step to announce that there is a mushroom festival in a little town called Sipicciano.  A village not far from Orvieto in Umbria.  This village does not appear on any map I own.  It is perched on the edge of the Tiber Valley right on the border of Umbria and the Lazio. Like an ancient eagle, it looks down from its aery onto vineyards and olive groves  and over in the far distance towards all the traffic speeding  between Rome and Florence.

Published in in good taste

Search Content by Map


All Rights Reserved ©Copyright 2006-2019 inTravel Magazine®
Published by Christina's Arena, Inc.