A delightfully warm and intimate portrait of life in a small rural town in Tuscany . In Maremma recounts David Leavitt and Mark Mitchell's restoration of a dilapidated 1950's farmhouse in southern Tuscany and the process by which they became initiated into a part of Italian life that foreigners rarely see. The pleasures of the olive harvest and picking wild asparagus are juxtaposed with the vagaries of political corruption and self-perpetuating bureaucracy. Landscape and weather provide the stuff of reverie, as do the benefits of boredom and the longing for peanut butter. A celebration and exploration of a little-known part of Italy, In Maremma is also a fond if sometimes critical corrective to other more rapturous portrayals of Tuscany. "An old house, a poor province, and two adventuresome guys (who happen to be great writers!). Join them in restoring the old place and getting into the life of the Maremma. Along the way they find themselves becoming Italians, savoring the acqua cotta and learning the difference between a frustone and an aspide."
Elaine Petrocelli, Book Passage Corte Madera, CA "The lovely effect this [book] has is that you don't yearn to uproot your entire life and move to Italy, as some of us might after reading [Peter] Mayle's accounts of France. Instead, you drive down your own Main Street in the morning, wherever that might be, and you notice the people having their cappuccino outside. You notice the people washing their cars at the local car wash. You watch yourself drop off your own children at school as if, for one glorious moment, you were a traveler, a tourist, a visitor, a foreigner. The mundane is made charming. Priceless."Los Angeles Times Book Review"Learning to do things 'the Italian' way coupled with the complexities only gay men can impart to creating a home proves to be an ultimately rewarding (and entertaining) endeavor. "Genre Magazine