Veteran journalist and author Keahey (Seeking Sicily: A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean, 2011, etc.) chronicles his sojourns to lightly visited areas of Tuscany.
The author focuses on areas ignored by most travel guides “to avoid writing about the whole of Tuscany, concentrating on the coastal area, its islands, and a handful of inland villages—never straying far from the sea—which Americans seldom seem to visit.” A product of his trips to Tuscany during spring, summer and early fall of 2012, Keahey’s delightful sketches offer alternatives to the standard routes and methods of vacation travel. Rather than a guidebook, Keahey explains his narrative should be the basis for inspired travel—“pick a direction, carry a map so you know how to get back to your resting place each evening, and set out each morning with no agenda.” The author does not list accommodations, restaurants or star attractions (except for a few favorites), encouraging the discovery of simple pleasures found in less-visited environments. In northwest Tuscany, Keahey profiles sculptors whose medium is the fine Carrera marble found in the surrounding area. He deftly recounts the effects of World War II on Italy, and he dusts off the fascinating history of the Etruscans in the south. Though venturing to the many islands off the coast during late summer makes travel a bit more arduous, the rewards prove worthwhile. Writes Keahey: “One benefit of visiting Capraia in August is being able to lie back in a lounge chair and watch the star-filled sky during a Perseid meteor shower.” Of course, this is Italy, so food is a frequent subject. Among other highlights, the author recounts his visit to the town of Lari, “one of Italy’s pasta production centers.”
Keahey fully understands the art of taking the road less traveled—a solid addition to his body of work.