by Elizabeth Helman-Minchilli, Elizabeth Helman Minchilli, Simon McBride (Photographer)
Tuscany’s hill towns and countryside have enthralled inhabitants and visitors for centuries–the golden light in the afternoons, the grape arbors, and the rolling hillsides dotted with rustic farmhouses and villas. Private Tuscany invites us into these dwellings, giving us a glimpse of how life is lived in this warm, inviting place. The homes featured in this gorgeous volume are as enchanting as the Tuscan towns and hillsides they’re built on. Many embody a style we’ve come to associate with Tuscany: dark-timbered kitchens with dried herbs and garlic ropes hung from the rafters, original terracotta tile floors, large-windowed living rooms, and artfully frescoed walls. There are centuries-old furnishings crafted by skilled Italian artisans and elegantly manicured gardens containing hidden grottoes and classical statuary. But the homes also reflect the special touches of the people who occupy them. For instance, a theater lover displays his exquisite collection of miniature theaters in the salon; the daughter of a villa owner paints traditional murals on the walls and mosaic patterns on the floors. Simon McBride’s photographs skillfully capture the magic of these Tuscan homes and feature a variety of residences, from simple farmhouses to grand villas and palaces. The book’s four chapters divide the homes into types: rustic, classic, grand, and modern. An index at the back serves as an introduction to Tuscany’s pleasures, providing contact information for sampling the region’s wine and produce, fine dining, hotels and houses, gardens, and crafts.