Read Vanilla Beans & Brodo: Real Life in the Hills of Tuscany by Isabella Dusi Online


Isabella Dusi, a native Australian, settled in Montalcino, a beautiful mountain eyrie famous for its wine and the proud nature of its inhabitants. Her acceptance into this close-knit community was a hard-won thing and has inspired Isabella to capture the true spirit of Montalcino. Vanilla Beans & Brodo tells of the violent history of this medieval village, which has leIsabella Dusi, a native Australian, settled in Montalcino, a beautiful mountain eyrie famous for its wine and the proud nature of its inhabitants. Her acceptance into this close-knit community was a hard-won thing and has inspired Isabella to capture the true spirit of Montalcino. Vanilla Beans & Brodo tells of the violent history of this medieval village, which has lefts its mark on the character traits of the Montalcinese, and also offers a rare insight into the anxiety, joy, fun, and pressure of daily life as it unfolds with the seasons. An evocative story of the rivalry between village neighborhoods, of football fever and festival pageantry, Isabella Dusi destroys the myth that Tuscan villages are tranquil places, and instead reveals a life infinitely rich and full of dramas....

Title : Vanilla Beans & Brodo: Real Life in the Hills of Tuscany
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743404112
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 456 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Vanilla Beans & Brodo: Real Life in the Hills of Tuscany Reviews

  • Kristin
    2019-03-03 17:00

    I liked the setting of this memoir about an expatriot living in a Tuscan hilltown. Yet the writing was often awkward. I constantly felt like editing it to polish and improve the flow. There are great details and images, yet it's sometimes difficult to digest. I'm glad I read it though.

  • Barbara
    2019-02-28 14:59

    In some ways this is a standard tale of people from an Anglo background moving to Italy and being blown away by all the differences. What was non-standard about this is the format. It isn't told as a chronological account of their life in Montalcino. Instead it is divided into 4 sections, one for each season. Each chapter in each section focuses on an aspect of life in Montalcino at that time of year. This makes it an easy book to pick up and dip into as each chapter is largely self contained. On the downside, it also makes it easy to put down and walk away from as there really isn't much incentive to keep reading to find out what happens next.Some of the insights the author presents were new to me and of interest. Life was hard and often unjust for people in this area, not just in the "historical" past, but in the lifetime of many of inhabitants of Montalcino. However, these aspects were overwhelmed by the fluff. Too much was presented in the tone of "isn't this quaint" which was all a bit twee and somewhat patronising. Reading this I was reminded of another book about a similar move - Extra Virgin by English Annie Hawes which is her account of buying a dilapidated farmhouse in Liguria with her sister. They allow a overgrown garden of wild flowers and grasses to flourish at the back of their house. The locals keep telling them to tidy up this "dirty" garden but they don't because, while it might not be utilitarian, it is beautiful. She makes note of how the locals are so focused on practicality in much the same "isn't this quaint" tone that Isabella Dusi uses. Then comes summer and Annie Hawes and her sister discover how their pretty garden is not just not practical but it also poses a real risk of fire to both themselves and all their neighbours. She admits that there is a lot she needs to learn about life in Liguria from the local inhabitants. I got none of that feeling from Isabella Dusi's account.

  • Jill Rockwell
    2019-03-16 18:16

    I have wandered through many small Tuscan towns and thought that there was not much activity. Dusi's book goes so much deeper than what the temporary visitor can imagine from looking, and gives glimpses about what makes up the network of a truly established historical place. I loved her silent musings about the people she came to know, and her transformation into a proud member of her quartiere. I feel that I have more insight into the culture, the family bonds, and the kinship that I am not witness to in Italy.

  • Alison
    2019-03-23 17:03

    I thought this was a really nice companion to our trip to Tuscany. I wish I had finished it before we came home so we could have spent some more educated hours in Montalchino, but I'm glad for the time we spent because I can now get a more rounded picture from the book. I do wish it was more recent or updated. Written in 2001, I asked myself how relevant this was to today. How much has changed over 15 years? I did think Ms. Dusi sounded kind of arrogant at times. She talks so much about the ideals of being a native, but she, herself, is not a native. She is also an outsider. So when she looks down on a couple of American tourists, it caught me by surprise. These American tourists don't know what they don't know. But this book did offer a unique and inside look at the village and gave me a new respect for the things we had seen.

  • Nicole Hunter-Mostafa
    2019-02-26 11:00

    it took me a long time to finish this book, but i'm glad i did. part of it was the structure of the book--it is arranged into seasons, which makes sense, but doesn't give the book much of a strong narrative. also, the writing is very heavy, has lots of run-on sentences, and often times comes across as a sort of literary painting--not much action or dialogue, but long, winding descriptions of scenery, which, although lovely, didn't entice me to plow through the book. even the amusing parts felt weighted down by the density of the writing. still, it really makes me want to visit montalcino someday.

  • Shauna
    2019-03-23 17:50

    I thought the book looked wonderful, had a lovely idea to it and being a fan of travel & italy ws excited to start this.however, I am sad to say that for me the start was so dry, plunging into the history of the place with no mention of the couple who are choosing to live there that I ended up battling to page 50 & giving up. I wasnt after a history lesson on ancient italy, I wanted to hear about the couples experiences whilst getting settled in and it took too long to get started for me.

  • Trenchologist
    2019-03-07 10:05

    Definitely serves its purpose in conveying life in this village, with commentary of the people and their history & traditions. For me it borders on almost too rapturous and filled with unending succulent detail -- but then again that prevents it from being a dry recitation of fact. I carried this with me for a few weeks as my subway read and it worked as that quite handily: easy to get absorbed into, but easy to leave again at my stop.

  • Amy
    2019-03-19 14:58

    Nice book. Different than the usual sort of "see how well we fit in and have become a real part of the village in no time flat" or the folks who want to give pictures of all the quaint folk they meet in their time.I was a champion Archer in my youth and so the archery talk was quite fascinating. As was the history of the rivalry between Florence and Sienna and the unfolding of the beautiful Tuscan hills.

  • Anna
    2019-03-03 10:15

    I liked this book more than Almost French: A New Life in Paris. It's about community in small town in Tuscany, Italy. We get to know the traditions. But it's also another book about English-speaking person moving to famous Tuscany, an Italian region for pilgrimiges of loads of Americans, British or Australians.

  • Donna
    2019-03-23 14:15

    My hat is off to this author. Not only has she written a lovely book about an Italian village and its history, she has done so with respect, telling stories of its people and customs without condescension, and is actually giving back to the village in a tangible way. You can guess how in the last chapter. A good read!

  • M
    2019-02-27 13:52

    This was a nice summer read. At times, however, it seemed too detailed and a little difficult to keep track of the multitude of locals she discussed. I learned a little history about this hilltop medieval village in Italy, and especially about its wine production. Now I've got a hankering to try a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino.

  • Rebekkila
    2019-03-18 12:09

    It was great to read about a part of the world that I have never been to, but would love to visit. I wonder if the locals are as standoffish as she paints them to be. I loved the chapters that focused on the individual stories of some of the residents of Montalcino. I did feel though, that the history of the town could have been a bit more linear.

  • Michael O'Donnell
    2019-03-20 09:49

    Be prepared for lots of detail about geography, history and wine. I think it is Real Life in Tuscany through rose coloured glasses. Not a warts and all account. No warts. I have no idea what the Italians would make of it. Still.....well written. I liked the 4 seasons structure.

  • Kate Rogers
    2019-03-09 15:04

    I could not finish this book, I just couldn't get into it or even start to enjoy it, which saddened me as I love Italy & wanted to read about the place. I'm weighing up giving it away or hanging onto it to try again another time.

  • Kellie Schofield
    2019-03-22 10:11

    To be honest I barely started this book - I got bored very quickly by so much description that seemed, maybe , just a little bit cheesy. I hate giving up on a book, but there you are, maybe I'll come back to this one and try again.

  • Lu
    2019-02-21 18:04

    Italy #1 series

  • Tracy
    2019-02-25 15:03

    I recommend if you are inspired to try something different with your life.Read the full review at OurBookClub

  • Stan
    2019-03-23 17:13

    A British/Australian couple move to Montalcino in Tuscany. I just about gave up as it was boring and far too descriptive, but it got better in the second half where are least some things happened.

  • Peter Hunter
    2019-03-16 09:55

    Lovely account of moving home to Italy

  • RoseInaBook
    2019-03-19 15:46

    A nice idea but over descriptive and so badly written, I really struggled to finish this but I forced myself to as I hate leaving a book half read.

  • JoEllen Hothem
    2019-03-02 14:07

    I REALLY enjoyed this book. It made me feel like I really knew Montalcino and when we finally visited there I felt like I was coming back to a place I had been before.

  • E
    2019-03-20 11:01

    brutal. tuscany is beautiful...(I liked Under the Tuscan Sun) but this was a new level of cheese on Italy life and how "quaint" it is.