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Vanilla Beans & Brodo - Real Life in the Hills of Tuscany by Isabella Dusi

I read this book on the recommendation of our RS tour leader Mary Carlson who knew that we were heading to Montalcino after Best of Italy tour. We found the book in Siena. It's about a couple Italian and Australian who moved to Montalcino after a vaction there. They discover the lifestyle, traditions, neighbourhoods and eccentricities of this medieval Tuscan hilltop village. They get to know families, characters, attend festivals, learn recipes of the local ladies etc. We spent a week at a nearby agritourismo and visited Montalcino at least four times. As I walked around the street, I noticed symbols and names on houses that were referred to in the book and I felt myself imagining the life of the people living inside. It really made my time there special.

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