Bringing the Talent to you

Many of us who have holidayed in Italy often think longingly of the Tuscan dream, egged on by those Tuscan delights spelt out so appealingly in the books of Frances Mayes.
She knowingly said: after Florence and Siena, just wander. Get lost, see where you end up, take unpaved roads.
Louise Badger and Lawrence Kershaw seem to have followed this advice. In their book, Todo in Tuscany, which takes a rather different stance on relocating to Tuscany, they reminisce fondly about past holidays spent in various parts of Italy, including the magical city of Siena.

Various other Italian excursions are mentioned in the book, but when Londoners Louise and Lawrence finally decided to take the plunge and buy an Italian property, they took an unknown path and found themselves staring at a strange and quirky house perched halfway up a Tuscan hillside, and an old, scruffy but very appealing dog.
Besides Carol MacAndrew who was very well - known during her years in Lucca, also featured is Maestro Herbert Handt and his equally talented wife Laura Ziegler, as well as friends, neighbours and of course, the vets!
They were told very firmly by the agent, if you buy the house, you have to have the dog! And that is the basis for this wonderful story, one which is very much built around human emotions. There is frustration as well as laughter when trying to deal with the inevitable Italian bureaucracy, or the builders, or the annoying hunters who were threatening to ruin their new peaceful existence; of contentment, especially when devouring one of their neighbours’ amazing dinners, but most of all there is love; the love they have for each other, for their new Tuscan life, for family and friends and of course for Todo, the delightful scruffy dog with the huge grin, who led them to buy and renovate their dream home, Poggiolino.

Like many other hill towns, Siena was founded by the Etruscans but didn’t really begin to prosper until the time of the Lombard occupation, when it became a trading post between the North and Rome and a stopping place for the many pilgrims travelling to the eternal city.
Louise and Lawrence were particularly enchanted with the Piazza del Duomo, a breath-taking piece of architecture, particularly when seen from above and housing the Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia. This shell- shaped Piazza is most famous for hosting the very competitive Medieval Palio horse race, an annual event which takes place on 2 July and 16 August, attracting large crowds.

Book Review of Todo in Tuscany
By Louise Badger and Lawrence Kershaw
Todo in the garden of Poggiolino
Luccalibri in Lucca recently hosted the Italian book launch and Todo in Tuscany was soon flying of the shelves!
Louise and Lawrence gave a short talk about the book, Louise in English and Lawrence in Italian, with ‘thank yous’ to friends, neighbours and vets who had helped to inspire much of the writing.
As the press release says, this is the story of love and devotion and of a precious friendship with an extraordinary dog. Part memoir, part travelogue, part reassurance that moving to another country is possible, this charming and heart-warming story of rescue and good fortune will raise both smiles and tears.
Todo in Tuscany is published by Hodder & Stoughton and is available in the shops now. A great read, and one which I can thoroughly recommend!
Louise and Todo