Italian tour guide writes about Tuscany, getting drunk.

Dario Castagno doesn’t put much stock in the flurry of travel books written about his home region of Tuscany. After all, he reasons, most are penned by foreigners who are unfamiliar with the places that are tucked away in the Italian countryside. Castagno’s A Day in Tuscany: More Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide uncovers a few of them. But it’s more than a mere travelogue; it’s a living, loving tribute to an idyllic lifestyle. “Tuscany doesn’t excel in anything, but it offers a bit of everything — food, wine, history,” he says. “It [condenses] the entire country.” A Day in Tuscany is a sequel to Too Much Tuscan Sun, a best-selling 2004 memoir that recounts Castagno’s life as a tour guide in the Chianti region of Tuscany. The new book chronicles the high-school dropout’s sudden success. “The news had spread in my village that I was famous in America,” he says. “The day I returned, everyone greeted me with a glass of wine. At the end of the day, I was completely drunk and ended up sleeping outside. I woke up the following morning with a book.” Castagno says his third memoir is already completed — which leaves plenty of time for soaking up the Tuscan sun and drinking lots and lots of wine. “The next book is all about my greatest hangovers,” he says. He'll also appear at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Boulevard (216-721-1600, Tonight’s event is free; admission, including wine and cheese, is $27 on Saturday.
Thu., Oct. 25, 7 p.m., 2007

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