Who hasn’t dreamed at least once of running off to a foreign country and starting a new life? Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) did exactly that in this lighthearted drama showered with humour and romance, directed by Audrey Wells in 2003.

Frances, a 35 year old writer from San Francisco is offered a free trip to Tuscany after a painful divorce. Once there, she impulsively buys a villa in dire need of much restoration. From this point her life begins anew with a variety of interesting characters and oddballs. She hires a crew of Polish immigrants to renovate the house. Over time, Frances also befriends her Italian neighbors and develops relationships with her Polish workers, the realtor who sold her the villa, and Katherine (Lindsay Duncan), an eccentric, aging, British actress. Falling into the arms of the intriguing Marcello (Raoul Bova), and welcomes her best friend Patti (Sandra Oh) from New York who is pregnant and at loose ends.

Based on the book by Frances Mayes, the film was shot on location in Rome, Florence, Positano, and Cortona in Italy. The breathtaking scenery is sure to have viewers saving their pennies for next year’s vacation……. or their Tuscan dream house.

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