"A tale of reality, history, landscape and art."
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 watercolours and discovering the hidden treasures of one of the most beautiful places in the world.
The 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.
The winter walks through Florence and Siena are an extraordinary exhibition dedicated to the world of Art.
The 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 flavored 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.
The eBook is illustrated with colourful photos.
Watch You Tube book trailer videos of A Year In TUSCANY:
"Through the images, Barbara Athanassiadis writes a lyrical text, in which Tuscany, the noblest of the Italian lands, is celebrated in all its splendor. Centuries of human effort have changed the original natural fabric creating a landscape on a human scale that has no equal. I should add that I would like to read the text in its original language but it was not possible, since I do not know it. However, the translation, beautiful, with a fluid language, charming and persuasive, allows me to assume that the original text is of equal beauty: the cases in which the translations have been able to overcome the originals can be counted on the fingers of one hand, in more than three millennia of the civilization of writing."
Professor Fabrizio Lemme, Academy of San Luca - Rome
"The pages of your books are like paintings that a painter paints in real time, while living, capturing the moments - not just spatially but also through the sensory nuances that give color to life. The choice of Tuscany, over other colourful Italian regions, only reinforces the passion and the materiality of the feelings generating chapters, paragraphs, lines, words ... "
Roberto Castellucci, Painter
"With time and disposition as her allies and, above all, her thorough knowledge of Italian Renaissance Art, Barbara Athanassiadis offers a journey along which I came to learn exactly what to look at, not just to feel what she herself may have achieved, but mostly to attain a conciliation with style and culture, the two natural companions of any wanderer. The painter that she is allowed for certain strokes of her brushes to go astray, much to the benefit of the rest of us! Secret nuances and mixtures of colors so vivid that they transpire, despite everything, in the watercolors striving to surge from the pages of her book. The numerous references to Art and the reports of talks she had with several people she has met throughout her life, not just dwelling in Tuscany, have admittedly made me richer and definitely strengthened my resolve to revisit the region harboring the sources of elixir. For this is what Tuscany is all about."
Yiannis Spaveras, Greek Writer
"Ever the charmer when she hits the paper, Barbara Athanassiadis takes us along on a stroll through Rome, her dwelling city of adoption. As a matter of fact, this journey is bound to take us far beyond the walls of this city and on to a trip to the Holy Land, where the journey turns into a soul-searching experience, as the author endeavors to connect her establishment in Rome to her remote origins.
Thus, as light as a feather, from palazzos to verandas, and from piazzas to movies of the ‘60s, Barbara flutters along, shedding what she feels is superfluous, along the way. Sometimes entire blocks are obliterated, churches seem to vanish into thin air and even historic accuracy seems as some point, to lose importance…. An experienced traveler, fully conversant with the art of getting rid of unnecessary burdens in her own, so very special, unmistakably feminine and romantic way, something like picking up the most beautiful Mediterranean flowers, before putting them in a vase to share the composition with roses and… artichokes alike!"
Maria Ioannides, Review in Vakchikon Magazine
"In her new travel book, Barbara Athanassiadis lives, breathes, takes delight in, discovers and guides us with a personal and insightful look of Rome, the Eternal City. She deciphers the unique lifestyle of the Romans, easily juggling between their glorious past and their bright present. She takes her readers on transcendent strolls, revealing precious and little-known secrets and inspiring all, even the most unrepentant lovers of Rome, to rediscover it once more."
Theodore Gregoriadis, Review in Passport Magazine
The intriguing look we capture in Barbara's other travel books is clearly seen in the pages of her new book, GREECE The Dance of the Seas. It is a pleasant and easy-to-read journey, I would say a diachronic literary cruise in our seas, from Corfu, the lush island with the grand old estates in the Ionian Sea, to the tiny island-jewel of Kastellorizo, just two miles off the coast of Asia Minor.
The book is enriched with historical elements while the descriptions are written with a characteristic romantic mood, brilliance, humour, and a lot of love for the place that gave birth to the author. By reading her book, you also feel that you are travelling with Barbara in the blue waters of the Ionian and the Aegean. Close your eyes, indulge in the game of fantasy and enjoy your journey seduced by the magic of the Greek seas.
A must-have travel book for any true lover of the islands of Greece
Eugene Pierris, Author
Barbara has her own particular style of writing, but also her historical narrative is well-researched and documented. She travels through the centuries, while in her wanderings and explorations she includes us, her friends, as companions and co-players. In her book she dances, not only in reality, enchanted by the magic of our seas - hence the title GREECE, The Dance of the Seas, but she dances mentally as well, conceiving a slightly fictional tale with a poetic mood and theatricality.
In this choreography of the islands, spread over the Ionian and Aegean Seas, Barbara lures us, the readers, to travel and dance deep in space and time following the rhythms of her pen as she makes her own experiences become ours. I could say that the adventure of her sea-journey reaches the limits of self-awareness. An inward journey that she is challenging us to make because her writing gives its own lighting to the places she visits, or better, she gives her own literary lens to the particular aspects of the islands she explores, while she lets us do our own reading and gain our own personal experience.
A book that any foreign visitor to the Greek islands must read.
Evita Baltas, Poet
Barbara!! How nice that we travelled together from Corfu, which I visited in 1965 on a school excursion and and have since been to many times as I love it, to the unknown to me Kastelorizo on the easternmost part of the Aegean Sea of which our good friend Constantina and her father years ago talked abundantly and were calling me to visit. Kastelorizo is also associated with the unrealised desire of my friend Gianni Versace to acquire a house on the island... As you see, your book has brought memories well-kept in my soul.
What a talent to convey such pictures, feelings, colours and perfumes! Each time, your readers are waiting to travel with you, to be charmed by your stories, to reveal to them hidden events of History!
When is your next book out?
Dimitris Tsitouras, Art Collector