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See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  635 ratings  ·  160 reviews
The bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun discovers the hidden pleasures of Italy in a sumptuous travel narrative that crisscrosses the country, with inventive new recipes celebrating Italian cuisine.

Don't miss Frances Mayes in PBS's Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special!

"Reading this book is a vacation in itself."--The New York Times Book Review (Best Travel Books of
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)
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Average rating 3.53  · 
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 ·  635 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, arc, november
If you can get past the immense privilege on display in Mayes' love for expensive sit-down restaurants and plush lodgings, then yes, you will be charmed and transported by the descriptions of food, history, and Italian life. Better read one section at a time, rather than straight through -- as you would a guidebook -- SEE YOU IN THE PIAZZA would be a much more pleasurable reading experience if it contained photos, maps, drawings, and other visual support for her travels.
Susan Johnson
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
This is Mayes at her best. She takes us on a tour of Italy and little known places. They are places Mayes and her family have visited and enjoyed. It is chock full of travel tidbits, recipes and wonderful renditions of the sights and smells of Italy. It is not a book to be used to plan a trip and is not set up necessarily in geographical order. It's just places that Mayes has enjoyed.
While I was reading this, I wanted to book a trip to Italy, rent a car and spend six months travelling around en
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
See You in the Piazza is a delightful memoir by beloved author Frances Mayes, focusing on her travels throughout remote regions of Italy with her husband Ed, and sometimes with their 15-year old grandson, sometimes with friends. Our first trip to Italy was a month-long journey through Italy in a little red Fiat, a well-worn road atlas, and many guidebooks. This book brought back those days with their many travel tips regarding places to stay, favorite restaurants, regional wines and recipes thro ...more
Randal White
I LOVE ITALY!!!! And until I can retire there in a few years, books like this help keep me sane.
What a wonderful travelogue of SO many places in Italy, of the sights, the people, the FOOD! You can almost picture the scenes, the smells and the tastes.
It's a long book, over 400 pages. The better to savor it slowly, reading one chapter at a time.
The only complaint I have, (and as this is an advance reading copy, maybe it will be fixed in the final product?), is that there were no photos. The add
Joan Austen
I must not be a true Italian loving foodie as I did not enjoy this book at all.....couldn't get past the first couple of chapters, skimmed some others. It seemed repetitive, 400 pages of restaurants, menus that sometimes made me cringe, endless small hill towns and museums. I loved all of her previous books, except for her last novel, Women in Sunlight. (IMO fiction is not her forte.) But I was left wondering, who this book was intended for, (lovers of obscure off the beaten path Italy with expe ...more
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, travel
I know Frances Mayes from her famous memoir made into the movie Under The Tuscan Sun. Its been a long time since I read the her first book and I believe she is still living in Bramasole. Anyway in this fabulous travel memoir, she goes around different parts of Italy with her husband and grandson. I listened to the audiobook and this is a summary of the book in a nutshell; fabulous vistas, delightful food, supreme wines, important historical places and lovely weather. Who wouldnt just love this? ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-books
From the author of Under the Tuscan Sun comes another beautiful book about Italy. In See You in the Piazza, Frances Mayes has written a travelogue, a cookbook, an historical tome. She lovingly describes Italy's people, art, architecture, food and wine. The recipes are very detailed and tantalizing. Each geographical area of Italy has its own style of cuisine so therefore you will find a variety of recipes. But what stands out is the prose. I frequently find myself reading passages out loud to my ...more
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Mayes brings the rest of us along on her beautiful journey through Italy. Her descriptions the the scenery and food are incredibly realistic -- even if her travels are well out of realm of possibility for most of us. But that is the glory of reading travelogues! Free travel without restrictions.
Literary Soirée
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author had me at “UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN” and has continued to seduce me with all her writings. Her newest is a gem, too, as it reveals more hidden treasures of Italy, places to visit and recipes to die for.

“Italy, the endless surprise.... Will it be a swim in the October-cold sea at Carloforte on Isola di San Pietro in Sardegna? Or a plate of arugula dressed with lemon juice and fresh olive oil in Sorrento, when the taste wedded to the heady scents of cit
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to this all day while mulching lavender and roses, feeling very italian in our temperate Californian climate. In the beginning I was charmed, transported, recalling my own holidays, but after hours and hours and hours the sameness was getting to me, not to mention I am a squeamish eater and was turned off over and over.... In small doses this would be enjoyabe, and she really has a way with words, but what charms me also repulsed me... I have read all her books, I find the older I get ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-stars, netgalley
4.5 stars

Mayes brings her delectable writing style to the pages of this travelogue/memoir/guide for all of us who wish we could take two weeks to walk in her shoes. Italy isn't just a place but an attitude and way of living, something Mayes makes clear through gently describing the distinctions between one little town and another.

This is not a book you pick up with your map in hand to help you plan your trip to Italy so much as it is like a first date (or first date in a long time) with the Ita
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I really liked this travelogue. The author starts north in Torino and moves south geographically instead of her actual chronology. She is very descriptive and tells some stories about their travels in many cases but in some instance just lists restaurant and places to go. I would have like more detail in those spots. I like that she has added recipes and plan on trying a few. This book makes me want to get online and book a trip right now. I also like that she included links to reading material ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of Frances Mayes. The first time I read Under The Tuscan Sun I knew it was, for me, a life changing book, and I was right. I fell in love with all things Italian because of her words and descriptions; I could taste the food she described and the scents she smelled; could visualize the details of her house and her travels. I’ve read every book she’s written since then, and was so excited to receive an ARC of her newest book on travel in Italy, See You In The Piazza.

I could never b
Jennifer Hughes
While I typically adore armchair traveling with Frances Mayes, this one didn't really work for me. It felt more like a travel diary that was written in Frances Mayes's trademark lovely voice--but still, at the end, just her musings on the great places in Italy she happened to visit. A few included recipes made me drool, as usual, but were not accessible enough with local ingredients and cooking directions to actually try to make them at home. Oh well, I can dream!

It was enough to skim through th
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
No story line, but a fun romp through Italy and its cuisine.
**3.5 Stars
Okay. I finally (finally!) finished. There is a LOT of information in this book, and while it is written in a very stream of conscious style, it does *not* read as a travel narrative/memoir the way I wanted it to. I think that's probably why it took me so long to read -- I was trying to read from cover to cover, knowing it was hopping all over geographically, and that was just painful. I think this would work better as part of actual pre-travel research/preparation for a trip to the a
Crystal King
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy, non-fiction
This book is a bit of a departure from the other books you might have read by Mayes. It's a love letter to Italy, a journey through some of the lesser known regions and towns of la bella paese. She takes you beyond the hubbub of Venezia and Firenze, off the beaten path to Modena and Calabria and a slew of places in between. I love that she intersperses recipes throughout the book, lending both history and color to her selections. It's not so much of a guidebook as it is a book for the armchair t ...more
Holly Senecal
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
**I cannot wait for this book to come out so all the people I have told about it can read it.
Frances Mayes has a special talent. Yes, obviously she is an author of wonderful books. Not all authors however have the ability to describe things in such a way that literally slows down your reading...Why? Frances Mayes draws you in and plunks you down in the piazza with her. The reading slows because you are no longer seeing words on a page but are tasting the food, smelling the smells, hearing the so
Karen Germain
Thank you to Crown Publishing for providing me with a copy of Frances Mayes’ latest book, See You in the Piazza, in exchange for an honest review.

See You in the Piazza, follows renowned travel writer Frances Mayes, as she tours the different regions of Italy. Mayes and her husband are American, but they own a second home in Italy and have fallen in love with the country. Mayes and her husband set off on a series of trips to discover and report on the best restaurants and landmarks in each regio
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
newbie author to me, France Mayes ... i look forward to reading more from her soon enough!! love the cover!! now i have seen the movie " Under The Tuscan Sun" with Diane Lane a billion times, love that movie, i am curious if it follows the authors read to the tee or what? I was super lucky to get an ARC ...not sure if this was a Goodreads giveaway or? no literature was in the book when i got it shipped to me??! love that when that happens but wish i knew who to thank??! thanks!! i love cooking, ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Another travelogue on Italy from Frances Mayes which unfortunately didn't resonate with me as deeply as I hoped. I did enjoy how she started the book in Northern Italy and traveled south highlighting places not on the typical tourist path. However, after a while the narrative took on a pattern at every stop.......architecture, art, expensive restaurants and luxurious surroundings. I did find myself enjoying it more if a read only one or two chapters at a time. I really wished she had provided a ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Definitely more of a travelogue than her other books, I enjoyed reading of many places in Italy which we did not see on our travels. I will not pretend to understand all of the Italian names or foods, but I learned a lot. We have been there and may not have the pleasure to return again, but it takes me back to read of her travels. One of the loveliest and most interesting place on earth. A wonderful read for those planning to go.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I would recommend this depending on what the reader is looking for. This book contains information on various places in Italy that Mayes and her family have visited. This is more travelogue but not really a travel guide as one might expect. The book will give the reader ideas of places to visit if they are planning a trip to Italy but there is plenty here for the armchair traveler as well. Recipes are also included among the entries so the reader can get a real taste of Italy as well. If the rea ...more
Stacy Charlesbois
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to go to Italy RIGHT NOW.
Toni Page
May 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This travelogue had wonderfully interesting moments for me and at other times I found it lacking in bringing life to some of the visited areas. An interesting and enjoyable read but not outstanding. It really was a 3.5 for me.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-reading
I am so sorry that I checked this book out from the library. This is a book to buy. Unlike a novel, Frances Mayes treats you to short snippets of her travels around Italy. See You In the Piazza can be picked up and put down without losing the thread of where she is and what will be next. It’s not a tedious travelogue. Ms. Mayes descriptions and impressions are seductive essays of the people, places and food in Italy. Because it was a library book I read it straight through to the end but I wish ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Frances Mayes is a wonderful author! She has brought us another unique book. This one sends us with her and her family and friends exploring each unique area of Italy. Along with each beautiful description and experience she give us a mouthwatering recipe. As always, I feel like I’m right there with her. If you really want to learn about and experience Italy, don’t reach for a travel guide. Instead join Frances on her journey through the country with this book. You’ll love it!
Naomi Youngstein
What a lovely book, with moth watering descriptions of food and wine, and memorable renditions of places visited and people met.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Richard Saul Wurman wrote the Access Travel Series from the late Seventies to about 1998. These books offered a quirky view of the locations they covered, filled with suggestions from local residents, and entries about unusual stores and sites that are ignored by most other travel guides. I loved traveling with those guides, which always left me feeling like I had experienced some of the actual culture of a place, not just the cultural or historic sites that are highlighted in most travel guides ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful companion to have while traveling through Italy. Yes, it’s a travel book, but it reads like a journal.
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Frances Mayes's new book is See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy published by Crown. Her most recent novel is Women in Sunlight, published by Crown and available in paperback in spring 2019. With her husband, Edward Mayes she recently published The Tuscan Sun Cookbook. Every Day in Tuscany is the third volume in her bestselling Tuscany memoir series.

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