Ferenc Mate and his painter wife Candace arrived from New York in the late 1980s, knowing almost no Italian and with only four weeks to find themselves a new home. After many mishaps, they finally conclude the deal for their perfect house, an ancient farmhouse in the Tuscan hills, by drawing on the hood of a rusty tractor. Mate brings the real Tuscany to life, the neighbours, the countryside, country-life, the family farm down the road who virtually adopt them and teach them the Tuscan traditions of grape-picking, wine-making, mushroom hunting, woodcutting, the holidays and, of course, the almost never-ending, mouth-watering feasts.
Ferenc Mate was born in Transylvania, escaped to Hungary, later escaped to Austria, and ended up in America. He has worked as carpenter, boatbuilder, member of a railroad extra-gang, and as a deck-hand on tugboats. His many books include Autumn and A Reasonable Life. He lives with his wife and young son, tending his olives and vineyard, in the hills of Tuscany.