We Etruscans: Old and New in a Forgotten Landscape

Accompany Anna Rist on her personal journey through changes and transformations, between the old and the new in Italian rural life in Semproniano. This is no ordinary account of a British expatriate who has taken up residence in beautiful and enigmatic Tuscany. The author warmly and vividly describes an impressive thirty-year time scale, which depicts an evolution of countryside life and mores in Toscana sconosciuta, a view of Tuscany away from the tourist track. Meet dynamic characters, such as Merope, who cooks fine examples of traditional Tuscan cucina, or Albano, whose aspirated 'c's make his tours of churches hard to comprehend. This fascinating portrayal also goes beyond being a record of a unique experience, as the author provides a wealth of information on the art, history, politics and religion of the region. Rist's academic background in Classics comes through strongly within the text, as the reader is guided through elements of a classical Tuscany. Aspects of the enduring Catholicism of the region also feature centrally in a depiction of a transforming 'Old Europe' in the latter twentieth-century. That evening we walked hand in hand, watching the brave shimmer until the last, most persistent fragile flame was overwhelmed and the sea left darkly lapping. Perhaps it was then that Italy lodged permanently in our souls. - Extract from Chapter 3