Miramax has acquired an option on Frances Mayes' best-selling non-fiction book Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home In Italy.

The book - for which Miramax reportedly paid a mid six-figure dollar sum - is about Mayes' work restoring an abandoned villa in the Italian countryside. It figured in the New York Times' best-seller list for two years and has already given rise to two spin-offs.

Miramax is thought to be in negotiations with Tom Sternberg to produce the film version. Sternberg has previously worked with Miramax on such Italian projects as The Talented Mr Ripley, Cinema Paradiso and Il Postino.