“The Hidden Treasures of Tuscany”


History, art, gastronomy, monuments, images: these are the elements that dominate the impressions of Barbara Athanassiadis in Tuscany, where she spends the four seasons of the year painting her watercolours and discovering one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Her excursions through the vineyards in autumn give her the opportunity to let her imagination roam free and to transport us to the unique landscapes that surround her.

Her winter walks through Florence and Siena are an extraordinary exhibition dedicated to the world of Art.

Her spring excursions in her Beetle to the medieval towns open her eyes, and ours, to the traditions of the place, which she critiques with her own Mediterranean influences as to how Tuscany was viewed by the English during the Grand Tour.

In the summer, she leaves for Maremma, virgin land within Tuscany, where she lives through the stories and legends of its people while at the same time taking a step back to look at the Etruscans.  She makes quick stops to local restaurants to taste the delicious, traditional cuisine allowing us to share in her meal of sliced bread seasoned with olive oil, ravioli al pecorino, and pappardelle in rabbit stew, all flavoured with herbs and cheese and washed down with a glass of the famous Vin Santo.

Her travel story, written from the heart, clearly shows that she is charmed not only by the peculiarities and traditions of the region, but also the hidden details of everyday life.  It is these little details, an unknown aspect in the daily life of Tuscans, which surprise her and never fail to charm.

“A must-read book for any true traveller”



Exuberant, and passionate read. Highly recommend it.

I have just begun reading Barbara Athanassiadis's book A Year in Tuscany. And it is the next best thing to being there. She shares so vividly her thoughts, feelings and daily experiences that the line to reality is blurred and we are immersed in a sumptuous world of the senses which to me embodies the totality of traveling in Italy.

She puts into words what I can only see and feel and photograph but seem at a loss to describe. It so completes my experience of my beloved Tuscany that it is a treasure to find. I do not rush the reading, waiting until I can sit and have time to savor it like a deliciously warm cup of tea. I let the images flood my mind and memories and feel as if I have taken the trip with her. I look forward to finishing this book as well as reading the others she has written. Her passion for history, landscape and art will draw you in and leave you refreshed. If you love traveling in Italy or just dream of it, this book is for you. A great read.

Marguerite Smith, reader