The Death of the Idyll

For many years now, the northern edge of the Mediterranean has been besieged by Anglophones searching for the good life. First Peter Mayle settled in Provence. Then Tim Parks met his neighbors in Verona. Frances Mayes looked up in the sky near Florence. And Chris Stewart ran over some fruit in Spain. The list goes on. As Matthew Kneale recently pointed out in the Financial Times, the tradition of what he calls “idyll memoirs” may go back even further.

Yet it is this most recent spate of blockbusters that has sent a frenzy of discontented Americans and Brits to sunnier climes. Now, perhaps mercifully, that era is coming to an end. With the publication of Ferenc Máté‘s new book, The Wisdom of Tuscany: Simplicity, Security & the Good Life—Making the Tuscan Lifestyle Your Own, it’s all but official. The idyll is over.”

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