Laetitia began the tour with a walk on a wooded hillside path with splendid views of the Tuscan countryside. After about thirty minutes, they stopped to admire a pink stucco house with terraced lawn and gardens. American expatriate author, Frances Mayes, described the purchase and remodeling of the abandoned farmhouse called Casa Bramasole in a popular memoir called Under the Tuscan Sun. As her tour guests were taking pictures, Laetitia talked to a local couple who told her that the book was a great boon to local tourism. “Frances Mayes did for Cortona what St. Francis did for Assisi,” they said. The popularity of the book led to a movie with the same name that barely resembles it. Apparently, the film’s gratuitous La Dolce Vita fountain scene, pregnant lesbian, and Italian lover amused Frances Mayes a great deal as did being played by sexy and attractive Diane Lane. She smiled all the way to the bank.
They continued on their walk past St. Margaret’s Church and down into the town where her guests walked the narrow streets and perused the shops before dinner. Over a glass of Avignonessi Sauvignon Blanc, Laetitia wrote down the limerick of the day.
When expatriate, Frances Mayes
Wrote a memoir of her Tuscan days
In a house in Cortona
The town’s new persona
Set local tourism ablaze.