A Year in the World: Journeys of A Passionate Traveller by Frances Mayes

Every novel Frances Mayes has written immediately whisks you away, and A Year in the World: Journeys of A Passionate Traveller is no exception. Mayes’ descriptions of traveling along coastal Europe kept me in a dream state, imagining only the vibrant colors, beautiful cities, and vivid flavors she described.

But what impressed me the most is her capacity to describe a place perfectly. She has an amazing ability to paint a perfectly detailed picture of her setting, without every becoming long-winded; somehow she is lyrical and concise at the same time. A Year in the World is beautiful, eloquent, and transports you to places you have only dreamed about.

Oh, and she also includes recipes: lots of delectable recipes for foods of all sorts. My summer plans involve attempting to recreate many of her recipes.

But I think the review on the cover of A Year in the World: Journeys of A Passionate Traveller says it best: “Literate and seductive … this is Mayes in top form.” Seductive is surely the word. Even after finishing the book some months ago, I still would like nothing more than to tour the Lycian coast by sailboat and go for “a golden light swim” every night for a year. Until that happens, I can dream.

A last suggestion- if you don’t have the time or money to invest in her novels, check out her website and blog. Her blog includes photos and recipes, as well as her trademark writing.

Buy this fabulous book at the following link: A Year in the World: Journeys of A Passionate Traveller


  1. Lovely ode to Francis Mayes! She does indeed have an amazing ability to describe a place perfectly, as you say. Speaking of armchair travelling, check out this beauty of a Tuscan villa, Borgo di Vagli, which Francis Mayes herself admires. It’s part of a 14th century hamlet restored by architect Fulvio Di Rosa. Mayes describes his accomplishments here as “the best work I have seen.” Disclosure: I work with Demeure, which rents this villa — but it’s so cool and relevant to your post that I just had to share. 🙂

    • Robert, the villa looks incredible. I can see why she loved it. And thanks for the full disclosure– not a problem. It’s gorgeous and worth promoting.

  2. I LOVED Under the Tuscan Sun, partly because Diane Lane is just beautiful and I love how relate-able, despite being gorgeous, she is.

    The other ‘partly’ reason I loved it, was the scenery and the idea of starting from scratch, as scary as that can be. Pack ’em up and move ’em out…wish I could do that with my family. Perhaps some day!

    Great blog, thanks for sharing!

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