A Small Place in Italy, by Eric Newby (HarperCollins 1994)

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This is a kind of sequel to his earlier account of his war time experience in Italy: Love and War in the Apennines. After the war, he and Wanda, now his wife, buy a small ruined farmhouse in the Apuan Alps on the border of Tuscany and Liguria. This book chronicles the next 25 years of sporadic visits to this very isolated house, it and the farm's restoration, and their relationship with the charming and eccentric locals. As always with Newby, it's written with a wry charm and affection, and is perhaps the original book in a genre that spawned Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence, the works of Frances Mayes, Chis Stewart and many others.