"Under the Tuscan Sun" byFrances Mayes is one of the most widely loved books written about Tuscany. It tells of the true experience of the author who shares the trials and tribulations of renovating her abandoned farmhouse in the rural countryside of Cortona. A glorious picture is painted of the stunning countryside, the architecture, the food and the locals.Taking you from this idyllic picture of Tuscany, to a much darker side of Florence isThomas Harris'"Hannibal". Following on from "Silence of the Lambs", the serial killer Hannibal Lecter is now living a charmed life in Florence. There is a clever link uniting the past with the present, involving a family called Pazzi, a failed assasination plot and murdered bodies hanging from Piazza della Signoria . There is a parallel."The English Patient" byMichael Ondaatje tells the story of four people living in a deserted Italian monastery in Tuscany as World War II ends. The story centres around a nameless burn victim, whose home becomes an upstairs room in Villa San Girolamo and his only comfort, the memories of a passionate yet doomed love affair. Ondaatje's poetical style of writing is full of vivid imagery where you can see the parellel between the damaged countryside and the suffering of these 4 characters.Finally, of course, there isE. M. Forsters "A Room with a View". The novel focuses on a young girl who visits Florence with a group of people of her own social class. We see her being torn between the rigid, almost Victorian-like values that have been imprinted on her in England, and the spontaneous and passion lifestyle that becomes open to her in Italy.Reading any of these books will make you want to catch the first plane to Italy and create your own very own adventure in Tuscany.