1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.50

Buy for $31.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Best-selling and beloved author Frances Mayes discovers the hidden pleasures of Italy in a sumptuous travel narrative that crisscrosses the country, with inventive new recipes celebrating Italian cuisine.

The Roman Forum, the Leaning Tower, the Piazza San Marco: These are the sights synonymous with Italy. But such landmarks only scratch the surface of this magical country's offerings. In See You in the Piazza, Frances Mayes introduces us to the Italy only the locals know, as she and her husband, Ed, eat and drink their way through 13 regions - from Friuli to Sicily. Along the way, she seeks out the cultural and historic gems not found in traditional guidebooks.

Frances conjures the enchantment of the backstreets, the hubbub of the markets, the dreamlike wonder of that space between lunch and dinner when a city cracks open to those who would wander or when a mind is drawn into the pages of a delicious book - and discloses to us the secrets that only someone who is on intimate terms with a place could find.

Includes a bonus PDF of recipes. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Frances Mayes (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A sparkling and irresistible view of Italy.... Mayes has a wonderful eye for detail as she lyrically describes her surroundings.... Readers will want to take their time, savoring this poetic travelogue like a smooth wine." (Publishers Weekly)

"Here, we are off the beaten track, soaking in the distinctive sunlight, traditional cuisines, architecture, and geographical features of each area...providing delightful trattoria recipes, poetry and anecdotes. Readers will definitely eat well by staying by her whimsical and conversational side." (Library Journal

"Mayes has arranged her memoir geographically from north to south, rather than chronologically, to allow readers to peruse the sections randomly, perhaps using the book as a companion guide to their own trip. Her descriptions are painterly and alluring, and she includes recipes for memorable dishes - grilled prawns with fennel and olives, sea bream poached in special seasoned broth, lemon ricotta tart, gnocchi with wild hare, and crispy octopus - that are likely to whet the prospective traveler's appetite. A charming homage to upscale travel through Italy." (Kirkus Reviews

What listeners say about See You in the Piazza

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    48
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    6
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bravo Cassandra Campbell

Unbelievably good narration. Believe me; I know. As an American-born Italian living in Northern Italy, I have a practiced ear. Cassandra Campbell’s pronunciation of Italian names and places, foods and wines is unparalleled. It's far better, for instance, than narrations Frances Mayes has done for her own books. Bravo.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • KC
  • 05-03-20

A good virtual trip to Italy

In the time of COVID-19, when all travel has ground to a halt, See You In The Piazza was a lovely escape from quarantine to one of my favorite countries. I had to cancel my trip, and this book allowed me to “visit” parts of Italy I have not yet been to. It was beautifully written - though a bit too flowery at times - but was perfectly narrated by Cassandra Campbell. The prologue, narrated by Frances Mayes herself, had me cringing because it was just not enjoyable to listen to Italian with a southern accent. Ms. Campbell had flawless pronunciation and a much more pleasant voice and style of reading. I enjoyed hearing about places I now want to visit.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A journey into itself

I have always loved Frances Mayes writings. She has a natural way of bringing you along into the story, as if you were a part of it. This book is no different. They book brings you happily along through the Italian countryside, seated next to her and her husband. Thank You for inviting me a long.

Darrell L. Grant
Happuccino Life

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Fine, not what I was looking for. Though still good

I read this immediately following “Pasta Pane Vino”. While this book is a wonderful account of the sights sounds and tastes of Italy it never goes deeper.

In the above mentioned book the author digs into the soul of Italy, spends time, understand, and covers very little of the entirety of Italy.

This book blitzes through Italy, you feel like a tourist the whole time, and everything feels so fleeting and superficial. It could serve as good inspiration but not for me.

Finally, what costs this book points for me, is the author provides rather superficial reviews of things that I feel don’t do them justice. There is very little depth to the “because” for any likes/dislikes.

Definitely get it though :) it’ll still make you want to get there. Just try the other book in addition

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

This narrator is awful, and the story self-indulgent

It has taken me multiple tries to get through even a few chapters of this book. The narrator's voice is unbearably affected, not just in english but the Italian too. It is cringe worthy, especially if you have real Italian speakers in your family. And Miss Mayes... well, all this book is about is the very expensive restaurants and very expensive hotels that she stayed in while traveling throughout Italy. It is boring, pretentious, and the only thing I really enjoyed was the introduction and some of the recipes and the notes. Save your money get some thing else. Miss Mayes has lost touch with reality and her readership.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Longing for the voice of Frances Mayes

After loving Frances Mayes’ audio books in her own voice, I found this narrators voice distracting. Her inflections were awkward, and unnatural. I will order this book, because there is a lot of information here, but I’ve had to stop listening to it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Could not get past 1st chapter...

The narration just ruined it for me and wish I had asked for a refund. Truly a disappointment!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I listened to the Audible edition of this travel narrative/memoir by Frances Mayes. Ms. Mayes read the intro and the acknowledgments. The rest was read by Cassandra Campbell. The difference in their voices is remarkable--Ms. Mayes has a soft, lilting southern accent, and Ms Campbell has a light but crisp pronunciation. Would I enjoy something else read by Ms. Campbell? I don't know, but after almost fifteen hours of listening to this, I wanted to stab the narrator in the throat with a pair of scissors. Her intonation in English is irritating, and even more so when she reads the frequent passages in Italian.

But I shall address the book itself, which all falls upon Ms. Mayes. She became famous for her book Under the Tuscan Sun, which is about her purchase and remodeling of a house in Cortona, Tuscany. I read it long ago and remember it as being mildly charming. It certainly helped inspire the American mania for buying an Italian villa which can be seen on House Hunters a couple times a week.
This book is supposedly a travel guide to the lesser known small towns of Italy. The only large city that is really featured is Rome. It is not a travel narrative written in order of areas being visited. It is directional, starting in the north and moving south, but skipping large sections of central Italy. It is never clear if the various trips described happen in the same season, much less the same year. Puglia (the boot), Sardinia, and Sicily get their own chapters.
The book is an odd amalgam of travel narrative and memoir, satisfying neither category. It reads like a travel journal in which Ms. Mayes notes every meal and wine that she drinks. Sweet little hotels and restaurants with rooms attached are the favored stops. Many a church is visited and beaches are walked. I gained the general impression that Ms. Mayes prefers her Italy without the peskiness of tourists. She loves an empty beach and little towns that have no visitors. She and her husband Ed roam across the countryside in his Alfa. Price is never a consideration, whether it is for hotels, meals, or beautiful crafts that she buys. Never is the economy or livelihood of Italians considered.
This book was written from a position of privilege (unaware?). It began to grate on my nerves that she does not present a nuanced portrait of Italy, Italian towns, or Italians as people. She lives in a world where every dinner and wine is delicious, except for one that stands out because she doesn't give the name of the cafe.
Everyone wants a perfect trip but it is the grit and the near misses that give a trip, and a book, context. Read this if you believe in La Dolce Vita. But I recommend other travel writers, such as Tim Parks, for a more realistic view of travel in Italy.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too much food descriptions

I’m a big fan of learning about Italian food, but there was too much detailed descriptions of endless meals. How could they eat so much and drink so much wine?

.